Friday, October 18, 2013

Birding Resources Part II: Other People

I will say this up front: I am not an expert birder. I like birds, I can identify most the ones that come through my yard, and when Matt quizzes me on bird calls as we're hiking, I have about a 50-50 chance of being able to say what that bird is.

Bird of prey-watching in the Trossachs
Photo credit: Saskia Heijltjes
That's why it's so awesome to occasionally go birding with people who really know what they're doing. There are many, many people in this area who can hear a birdsong and be able to tell you -- without seeing the bird -- what it is, how common it is, where it's been lately, whether it's worth looking for...and if it's worth looking for, they'll help you find it.

If you're not one of these people, consider going out birdwatching with one of these groups sometime, and see (and hear) what you're missing. (And if you are one of those people, please comment and let me know if I missed anything!)

Maryland Ornithological Society has meetings and field trips all over Maryland, including some in Rock Creek Park. Their September/October schedule is nine pages long!

Audubon Naturalist Society has free birding trips in the metro area and beyond. Also look through their catalog for paid classes and trips that focus on birds -- there are many.

Prince George's Audubon Society has regular walks on 1st and 3rd Thursdays at Lake Artemesia, and 1st and 3rd Saturdays at Patuxent River Park.

The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia has classes, programs, and field trips at local sites like Huntley Meadows, Riverbend Park, and many others.

The Northern Virginia Bird Club lists a couple of outings a week on their calendar as well.

The Nature Conservancy has free birding outings for members about once a week this fall.

This post is part of a series on birding resources...

Birding Resources Part I: Bird ID Books

Up next: Birding resources on the web & birding apps. Let us know if you have any recommendations!