A fun activity to experience while camping is birding. Birding is a great way to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Unlike other camping activities that are limited by your location (hiking, swimming, etc.) as long as there are at least a couple of trees chances are you can enjoy the birds! A fun activity for the family to enjoy together is to keep a birding journal. Write down the description of birds you see, the sounds they make, and even drawings! You can make the journaling experience educational by researching the birds you find together as a family.
Birding is a relatively inexpensive hobby to enjoy. You only need to invest in a journal and a good pair of binoculars. My husband gave me a very nice Nikon set as a gift, knowing how much I love to learn about and watch birds wherever we go. Much like fishing, birding is often an exercise in patience. The best advice I can offer is to find a nice comfortable spot in the woods and quietly wait for the birds to come to you. You can also listen carefully to hear where the birds seem to be congregating and make your way closer to them.
While it may not seem logical, birding is actually a great rainy day activity. Birds love to sing and move about when it rains. Experts think that birds instinctively sing louder in the rain to attract a mate before the bad weather moves in and separates them.
If you don’t mind getting wet…take a chair outside and enjoy! Otherwise, stay indoors, crack a window open, and try to test your knowledge of bird songs while listening to them sing in the rain.
My latest quest is to capture a great photo of a pleated woodpecker. I have seen them several times, but I never manage to get close enough to snap a great photo! I would also like to get some photos of my favorite bird – the red-tailed hawk.
Another tip: Bring a birdfeeder with you camping!
Bring a bird feeder? Really? Yes. If you’re like us, you enjoy viewing wildlife on your camping adventures. If you are camping in a wooded area, especially in a state or national park, birds are abundant. Why not bring a small bird feeder along so you can hang it on a nearby tree and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation?
We own a pop-up and we really have to pack it in a precise manner. However, you can find a small, inexpensive bird feeder at Wal-Mart, small bag of feed or suet bars, and pack it in the storage section of your camper.
Nothing is better than opening up the tent windows in our popup and watching the birds feed in the woods behind our campsite. It’s a nice way to wake up in the morning.
If you plan to do this, research the type of birds in the area where you will be camping. For example, if the area is known for Cardinals, bring sunflower seeds. If you bring the right type of seed you will have better luck seeing and hearing the birds.
The following websites are great resources to learn more about birding in your area:
The following link from birding.com is a great resource to help identify birds found in North America.
We would love to hear about birds you have seen on your camping trips!