The love for birds gathers millions of enthusiasts around the world annually, willing to share their tricks and latest tips and freely talk about their passion. For decades, there have been hundreds of dedicated communities for bird enthusiasts where people can exchange information and learn more things about their favorite bird species.
If you too want to be part of one of these special communities, here are some that might spark your interest. Just make sure you purchase the right pair of wildlife viewing binoculars and have enough free time on your hands.
eBird is the largest birding community in the world and has hundreds of thousands of members all around the globe. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology project is supported entirely by sponsors, grants, and donations, meaning it is free for everyone to sign in. It even has a dedicated app you can download from Google Play or the Apple App Store, with amazing features for all users.
By joining the community, you will be able to find more birds, keep track of your special bird lists with sounds and photos, explore some of the latest sightings around the world, and even bring your own contribution to science and the conservation of biodiversity.
There are over 100 million bird sightings contributed each year by enthusiasts all around the globe, so you will have no trouble finding an area close to your home if you want to start watching the birds on your own.
And, since the project continues to grow, you are encouraged to bring your own contributions to the website, meet some of the national and international partner organizations, and even find a job in the area that suits your qualifications.
Another fantastic platform you can join is the Birding Buddies. It describes itself as a free online resource for bird lovers from all corners of the world. It centralizes the most relevant Wikipedia articles, simplifies eBird data for newbies, and provides the users with relevant information based on their current location.
The website offers a different page for each bird, including classification information, relevant articles, photos, and recent nearby sightings. Therefore, Birding Buddies can prove an excellent source for scholars, researchers, students, and simple people who are fascinated by birds.
The platform allows you to build a profile and become an active member and contributor of the community. Active members are allowed to share sightings, birding knowledge, and photos with other people from the community in order to help each other and learn more about their favorite species of birds.
You’ll also find relevant information about the best tools to use when going bird watching, including tips on reliable and affordable birding binoculars for those with limited budgets.
Feminist Bird Club
The first feminist bird club was founded in 2016 in New York and already has two other branches, one in Baltimore, and the other one in Chicago. The club’s founder, Molly Adams from New York, stated that most members of regular bird clubs are middle-aged, white males and that they are not inclusive with other members of the society.
In fact, bird watching alone in parks or secluded areas at dawn or early night can be a threat for non-males. The Feminist Bird Club swears by a manifesto that promotes “a safe opportunity to connect with the natural world in urban environments.” All new members are welcome, though most of them are women, non-binary people, and active members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The club also sells its own iron-on patches. The 2018 edition patches feature a spotted sandpiper, a bird known for its polyandry. It is important to mention that all funds gained by selling the patches are donated to the Black Lives Matter organization. The club also promises a female-only bird walk in the near future.
If you decided to become a member of one of the earlier mentioned bird clubs, perhaps you should also know some of the cities in the United States that are known for their wildlife.
The fact is that you don’t have to plan expensive trips overseas just to watch some of your beloved birds. With a little luck and the right equipment (even a non-branded pair of inexpensive binoculars for birding will do), anyone can turn into a bird watcher.
You can start your journey in Tucson, Arizona, home of many unique bird species, including rare hummingbirds, the Gambel’s quail or the cactus wrens. Even the authorities are actively involved in the preservation of wildlife, while locals have been taking part in the annual Tucson Bird Count since 2001.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The place is one of the first certified as a National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat. You’ll spot countless migrating species and resident species alike, thanks to the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Waterbirds and least terns are just some of the birds you’ll most likely see here.
The city is known for hosting some of the country’s oldest birding celebrations. Due to its proximity to the Mexican border, people from both countries come here annually to see unique species of birds like the Altamira orioles and the green jays.
The Grande Valley Birding Festival is the biggest of its kind, and it emphasizes the benefits of ecotourism. The warm climate and long summer days are a delight for birdwatchers, so we suggest you visit the city anytime soon.
Cape May, New Jersey
Another ideal spot for bird enthusiasts is the Cape Bay peninsula, located between Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The city becomes the perfect home for migrating birds that look for safe places to live in the wintertime. The local wetlands attract thousands of birds from various species, from semipalmated sandpipers and sanderlings to ruddy turnstones, warblers, and red knots.