Bird Watching Locations
You can view wild birds at local parks in your neighborhood. On fine days, why not go out for a nice walk and enjoy some bird watching?
Rivers and Lakes
Ponds and lakes provide a largely unobstructed field of vision, making them perfect for bird watching. By all means, take an opportunity to go and observe the waterfowl that flock there.
Woods and Forests
All sorts of birds lie hidden among the branches of trees and in the shadows of the leaves. Take your time looking for wild birds at a leisurely pace.
Camping or Trekking
When you are out camping or trekking, try to spot wild birds as you enjoy the surrounding scenery. The sight of a cute little bird may be just what you need to cure you of your fatigue.
Tips for Choosing the Right Binoculars
Binoculars can magnify wild birds over great distances, allowing you to see their shapes, sizes and colors with remarkable clarity. Viewing through binoculars greatly enhances the fun of bird watching.
- Right magnification for the location
- We recommend magnification of 8x to 10x for woods and forests and magnification of 8x to 12x for lakes, marshes and tidelands.
- Large effective diameter of the objective lens
- The larger the effective diameter of the objective lens is, the brighter the image and the higher the resolution are obtained. However, we recommend the use of a tripod for those over 50mm as they may cause unstable image and uncomfortable viewing due to shaking by hand movement.
- Wide field of view
- These allow you to view a wider area all at once, making it easier to follow the movements of wild birds.
- High lens performance
- For a more pleasant viewing experience, it’s best to choose binoculars that produce a sharp image and minimized distortion all the way to the lens periphery.
- Binoculars that fit your hands
- Try holding the binoculars in your hands, look through the lenses and choose what works best for you.
- There is no need to worry about your binoculars when there is sudden rainfall or when you use them in morning dew.
Get used to your binoculars
Start by viewing something that is easy to observe with binoculars—a distant, unmoving object in a wide, open space. Look at distant billboards and lights in the field of view and focus on them. Repeat this until you become accustomed to it and gradually shift your focus to objects to closer to you.
After getting used to this, try watching a fairly large bird, one that doesn’t move around much and that you can easily see with your naked eye. Once you are used to this, further challenge yourself with “small, moving birds nearby” or “birds in the bush.”
Tips for spotting birds with your binoculars
Spot the target with your naked eye and, fixing your gaze (keeping your eyes on the target), swiftly bring your binoculars up to the level of your eyes and look through them.
Have something in your field of vision that is easy to find again (a tree or branch, etc.) and move your field of vision (binoculars) away from this reference point.
Introduction to Bird Watching
Essential Gear for Bird Watching
- Bird guide
- Knowing what wild birds are called brings you all the more close to them. Whether it’s compact or packed with a wide range of bird varieties, find the guide that suits you best.
- It’s not only easier to move around, but also easier to observe if you have both of your hands free. If you have full use of your hands when using binoculars or other gear, you can focus on observation.
- Notebook & Writing Implements
- It’s a good idea to keep a record of the types of birds that you have found. This will be useful when making later trips or discussing your outings with other birdwatchers.
- ※It’s also a good idea to prepare and bring rain gear, a packed lunch, a towel, a trash bag and whatever else you may need for the location and the season.
Clothing for Bird watching
- Choose looser clothing in which you can move easily
- Choose clothing in khaki, olive drab, earth tones or similar colors so as not to frighten the wild birds, which are also part of nature. Also choose clothing made from materials that won’t produce jarring noises when the fabric is rubbed together.
- Clothing with large pockets
- It’s handy to have your notebook and field guide or bird guide in pockets where they can be readily referred to when needed.
- Long sleeves / long pants
- You will find yourself in the bush, so it’s better to play it safe and keep exposed skin to a minimum. Be sure to bring warm clothes in the winter, as well.
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Choose the right shoes for the place where you are going. Sneakers are fine for some places, but other places may require trekking shoes or boots.
Bird Watching Etiquette
- Take care not to frighten wild birds or destroy their natural habitat
- Observe from a suitable distance.
- Don’t disturb the natural habitat of wild birds. Especially take care during their child-rearing period.
- Be careful not to make any loud noises.
- Avoid gaudy clothing or brightly shining metallic accessories.
- Have consideration for those around you
- Do not use binoculars to view people or private dwellings. Many people will feel uncomfortable just having binoculars pointed in their general direction, so take extra care when people are around.
- Be careful not to enter private property, even if unintentionally.