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Contents Introduction How this book works and reflections on the joys of birding by author Chapter 1 Bird Watching Basics Introduces the reader to the exciting world of bird watching ? Key benefits of birding for individuals, families, and friends ? The various ways bird watching can be enjoyed ? Author?s tips for successful and satisfying bird watching ? How best to use this book Chapter 2: First Things First: Getting Started Everything the beginner needs to know to get started quickly and effectively ? The best time and place to begin birding ? How to be equipped for maximum birding enjoyment ? What exactly does a bird watcher do? ? Birding etiquette: how to enjoy yourself without ruffling any feathers Chapter 3 Getting the Most out of Your Equipment How to use your basic birding equipment like a pro ? How to choose and use binoculars ? Letting your field guide be your guide ? Clothing and other equipment used by bird watchers Chapter 4 Identifying the Birds Is that a warbler or a widgeon? Learning how to tell the difference ? Starting with what you already know: ten birds you can identify without a field guide ? Getting to know the birds: understanding general and specific characteristics ? Developing your observation skills ? Keeping records: Starting a life list or birding journal ? How can I know if I¿fve misidentified a bird? Chapter 5 Backyard Birding Some of the best bird watching may be right outside your window ? Attracting birds to your backyard ? Types of bird feeders ? Types of bird seed ? Making water available for the birds ? Providing shelter ? Landscaping and gardening for the birds ? Protecting your backyard birds Chatper 6 Birding on Location Taking your hobby on the road ? Where to go? ? Birding by foot ? Birding from your car or other vehicle ? Birding as part of an organized group Chapter 7 I?m Not a Beginner Anymore Now What? Taking your hobby to the next level ? Honing your observation skills ? Learning more ? Branching out: photographing and sketching birds ? Extreme birding: The World Series of Birding and other competitions Chapter 8 Birding with a Purpose Putting your skills and enthusiasm to good use ? Annual bird counts: Helping the researchers and scientists ? Volunteering: Helping the birds and the organizations that protect them ? Creating your own opportunities Appendix Additional Resources A comprehensive list of additional resources for birders ? Organizations ? Publications ? Books ? Birding online ? Glossary ? Birds of North America (checklist) Index
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