Bird Study – Going Afield

It is rarely necessary to go far afield to begin the study of birds. Often one may get good views of birds from one’s open window, as many species build their nests close to the house when the surroundings are favourable. Last spring I counted eighteen kinds of birds one morning while sitting on the veranda of a friend’s house, and later found the nests of no less than seven of them within sight of the house. When one starts out to hunt birds it is well to bear in mind a few simple rules. The first of these is to go quietly. One’s good sense would of course tell him not to rush headlong through the woods, talking loudly to a companion, stepping upon brittle twigs, and crashing through the unde-brush. Go quietly, stopping to listen every few steps. Make no violent motions, as such actions often frighten a bird more than a noise. Do not wear brightly coloured clothing, but garments of neutral tones which blend well with the surroundings of field and wood. It is a good idea to sit silently for a time on some log or stump, and soon the birds will come about you, for they seldom notice a person who is motionless. A great aid to field study is a good Field Glass. A glass enables one to see the colours of small birds hopping about the shrubbery, or moving through the branches of trees. With its aid one may learn much of their movements, and even observe the kind of food they consume. A very serviceable glass may be secured at a price varying from five to ten dollars. The National Association of Audubon Societies, New York City, sells a popular one for five dollars. If you choose a more expensive, high-powered binocular, it will be found of greater advantage when watching birds at a distance, as on a lake or at the seashore.