Bird Watching Tour Basics and Tips
Thoroughly Check Out the Tour Group
The quality of the tour group you go with can spell the difference between fantastic birding that you remember for years and miserable conditions that destroy your will to travel again. Get references, ask a lot of questions. Know exactly what type of place you'll be staying in, what the experience is of your tour leaders.
Research the Area
Whether you're going with a tour group or on your own, be sure to research the area on your own. The more you know about the culture of the area, the types of birds you're likely to see, what their calls sound like, what the weather and landscapes are like, the more you'll enjoy your time. Whether it's only a few hundred miles or halfway across the globe, knowledge is power.
This is true for any trip, but it is especially true for a birdwatching tour. Weather won't always be perfect. Bring a light raincoat, bring a sweater, bring a birding book or two to study during the times you can't go out.
Take Notes and Photos
It's usually illegal to take feathers, nests, or any other bird parts with you - even in the US. So take a nice journal with you, and a good camera. Take lots of notes - what you see, what you hear, what the weather was like, what interested you. The more notes you take, the more fun you'll have later on, going back through your photos and words!
Things will go wrong, so just roll with the punches! Enjoy the fun you do have, find something new to enjoy even if you don't get to see any birds. There are always new things to learn, no matter what the situation. The better your attitude, the better a time you'll have, no matter what happens!
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