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Why watch birds?

Birds engage our minds and senses, and connect us to nature and a broader community. They’re beautiful, distinct, and diverse. With Spark Birding, explore birdwatching through personal stories of discovery, articles, tips and online courses.
Birding Stories

how to identify birds

Identifying the birds you are seeing is one of the most enjoyable aspects of bird watching. With a little practice and a few tips, you’ll be able to name many of the common species around you. Learn to use several basic strategies to identify birds: their size, shape, behavior, color, markings, and sounds. Get to know a few of these characteristics to make it easier. 

Bird Watching Binoculars


Have you ever been curious about birding as a hobby but have been a bit intimidated? Do you know a few obvious species but want to learn more? Our birding courses will inspire you to take a step forward and teach you some of the skills, and learn to identify the most common birding types and species. You’ll gain the confidence to get out in the field and inspiration to explore our treasured parks and wildlife refuges.

Birding Experience

essential gear

Most new hobbies require essential gear, and birding is no exception. Luckily the basic items you’ll need won’t require a big investment. Pretty much all you need to get started is a pair of binoculars, a field guide, and an easy-to-use birding app or two. Explore essential gear you’ll need and other helpful tools and accessories to build on your newfound hobby.

Spark Bird Stories

A “Spark Bird” is the bird that helped spark a person's interest in birding. Do you have a story? Read how a particular bird or bird watching experience turned others on to birding. MORE >

Birding Stories

Vermilion Flycatcher

A brilliant colored bird flew up to the picnic bench where I was sitting

Hank Kaestner

Birding Stories

Chestnut-crowned Antpitta

What an odd-looking bird! The egg-like shape of the body and stick-like legs.

Chris Bensley

Birding Stories

Eastern Bluebird

That bluebird represented something very important to me, because although I was kind of sad at that moment, it really sparked my interest not only on birds, but it just made me very happy.

Giovani Ortiz

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