Beginners’ Guide to Birding

 Comedic Icons Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson Star in the Hilarious Outdoor Adventure Coming to Blu-ray and DVD January 31!

Was your New Year’s resolution a pact to yourself to get outdoors and make 2012 your Big Year?  In this beginner’s guide we’ll direct you to where you can find online field guides, deals on binoculars, regional checklists and new birding buddies to go on trips with.  Grab a notebook and start practicing your birdcalls and soon you will be having the biggest year ever!

Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson portray three men from very different walks of life, facing a mid-life crisis, a work-life crisis and a no-life crisis.  In the biggest competition of their lives, they undertake an unforgettable trek through North America, engaging in hilarious and bizarre adventures and forming friendships that will last a lifetime!


Online Field Guides

Many hardcore birders like to have physical field guides that they can take with them, and many people employ the use of regional field guides, as they offer more specific advice. As you are starting your birding adventure, try using a site like, which allows you to search for species in many different ways (including by region and by appearance). What Bird also has handy apps for e-readers and smart phones, which allow you to access their immense database on the go!



If you want to get serious about birding, you need a proper pair of binoculars. When you’re searching for your first pair, you need to pay attention to seven things: magnification, objective lens size, close focus, field of view, roof vs. porro prism, eye relief, and the 3 Ws (weight, waterproof and warranty). Go to for help choosing the type of binoculars that are right for you, as well as suggestions on where to buy them for the best price.


Regional Checklists

The best way to start birding is to observe (and learn to recognize) the birds in your own backyard!  To do this, you should consult a checklist of the birds that appear in your region. One of the best sites to visit when looking for information on species in your region is Wild Birds has each state in a United States (as well as most of Canada) represented on their site, with comprehensive checklists, reading lists and relevant links included.

Birding Buddies

The best way to find a buddy to bird with is to join different groups for birding enthusiasts. Two of the largest birding organizations in the United States are the American Birding Association and the National Audubon Society. Each of these larger, national organizations can steer you towards either region-specific sectors of their organization, or smaller birding clubs in your area. You could also use to find birders in your area, and local events or trips to take part in.



Disclosure: Feature provided in efforts to assist in the promotion of the upcoming release of The Big Year on bluray and DVD. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Please view our disclosure policy if you have any questions.

About the author
Mrs. Hatland is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.

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