6 Bird Watching Tips for Beginners

Bird watching in the Rocky Mountains can be difficult when you first try to do it or if you simply don’t know what you are doing.  Luckily, with a bit of practice and following these tips you can quickly learn to hear and see birds all around you, including some of the common birds of the Rocky Mountains.

bird watching

A Red Tailed Hawk soaring through the air is beautiful to watch.

Bird Watching Tips for Beginners

Stay quiet and listen – Birds are always talking and listening to each other.  This means that they can hear if there are people around, which sometimes can get them to be quiet.  A good way to notice birds is if you are very quiet and listen yourself.  You may surprise yourself at how many different kinds and numbers of birds that you can hear at any one place.  Once you hear where the noise from the birds is coming from the trick becomes trying to see the bird.

bird watchingWalk/hike slowly – If you go for a fast hike or walk you are not going to see very many birds.  The best way to see and hear many birds is to walk slowly and pay attention to the sounds and movements along the trail.

Sit still – Even better than just walking slowly is to pick a nice spot and just sit or stand still for several minutes.

Bird watching with kids Rocky Mountains

Sit still and look and listen for birds.

By sitting still and keeping your eyes and ears open you will give yourself a chance to see or hear all the birds in the area.

Best places to watch for birds – You can see birds in any habitat because birds live everywhere.   You can see birds near water, in forests, open meadows, or high up in the mountains.  Keeping that in mind, the best places to see the most birds are spots at the edge of two different habitats, such as on the edge of a forest next to a meadow or at the very edge of the meadow near the forest.

bird watching rocky mountains

A lake with forest nearby is a good place for bird watching.

Another excellent spot to see lots of birds is near water, such as along a creek, river, lake, or a wetland.

Watch for movement – Often you may just see a flash of movement in the corner of your eye that is a bird darting from one bush to another.  If you hold still and look towards that spot you may see the bird move again.  It can be hard to see a bird holding still on a bush or tree.  But, once that bird moves you will easily see it and can see where it lands.

Best times to look for birds – Birds tend to be more active at certain times of day, which makes them easier to spot because they are flying or moving around a lot.  In general, the best times to see birds are early in the morning or in the evening, since those are when most birds are the most active.

Following these simple tips will make bird watching more fun and will help you to see lots of birds anytime that you are outside.  This includes your backyard, the park, and the next time you go for a hike in the Rocky Mountains.  The next step is to learn how to identify birds.

But, if you are hoping to learn more about birds you can always look into what makes a bird a bird.