How to Keep a Birding Journal

How to Keep a Birding Journal
Bird enthusiasts would be well served to keep some sort of journal that documents the different species of birds they encounter during their forays into the outdoors. By keeping a journal, an individual may notice many things about bird species that would have gone unnoticed before he began keeping records. Journal entries require people to pay a little more attention than they normally might. It is certainly not difficult to create a birding journal, and it can lead to many hours of enjoyment.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to Keep a Birding Journal

Step 1
Choose a journal. There are many types of journals available on the market. Some are much more detailed than others and make keeping a journal quite easy, providing boxes to check off for various species and places to write in any observations. A blank journal or one that is less elaborate can also fill the bill quite well, allowing you to write down whatever you desire about a particular bird encounter. Online sites, such as DesertUSA.com, even have pages that can be printed out and put into a binder to use for a journal.
Step 2
Enter the date, time and place where you saw the bird. You may also include more detailed information, such as what the weather conditions were and what types of potential food sources were in the area.
Step 3
Describe the bird in detail. Make an entry that describes the bird's color. Always take careful note of the colors of the head, wings, tail and neck, as these often can help you to determine if the bird you observed was a male or a female. Keep track of the size of the bird, as well as its overall shape.
Step 4
Document what the bird was doing. Write in your journal anything you can to describe what the bird's behavior was like. Birds may be in the process of courtship, searching for food, defending their territory or building a nest. If you can identify the behavior, then write about it.
Step 5
Listen to the call of the bird, and then try to describe it in your birding journal in your own words. Try to be as precise and detailed as possible, as this may enable you to later identify birds by their songs and calls without even having to see them. If a bird's call reminds you of a specific saying, name or sound, then describe it in that way.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Try to sketch the birds you see, and don't worry about your artistic ability. Since your journal is private, you need not fret about correct spelling and grammar.
 
Try to sketch the birds you see, and don't worry about your artistic ability.
 
Since your journal is private, you need not fret about correct spelling and grammar.

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