Bird call time

Published: 22 November, 2012 09:21 IST | Hassan M Kamal |

Winter is here, and so is the season for bird watching. Over the next two months, explorers in the city will take to several bird watching destinations in and around Maharashtra, trying to catch a glimpse of birds from across the globe

And chances are you may want to tag along. So, we invited a few experts from the Bombay Natural History Society to help us with a toolkit to equip you for your bird watching trips.

>> Most importantly, you must have an interest in birds.
>> A Guide Book: For beginners, The Book of Indian Birds by Salim Ali is handy. It comes with a list of all the birds available in India as well as a few handy tips on bird watching from the author.
>> Binoculars: The ideal binoculars for birdwatching are 7x30 and 8x40. The first digit represents the magnification and last digit refers to size of the object piece. The larger the object piece, the better is
the view.
>> Camouflage: Wear dark green or brown clothes when going for bird watching. It helps you blend into the scene and prevents any unwanted attention towards your side.
>> Camera with telephoto lenses: Want to capture the birds in their natural habitat, move to a professional camera now. The prosumer / point and shoot cameras are useless for wildlife photography. Irrespective of the camera brand, it must have multiple frame shooting and flexible shutter speed for the night/evening shots. Then, you will need a high-power telephoto lens, an easily movable lightweight monopod and perhaps a light meter, if you don’t like the auto mode.
>> Sturdy shoes to withstand all kinds of rough terrain.
>> Light-weight water bottle that keeps water cool (you can go for a fancy leather water bag or a metal flask).
>> First Aid kit (must include bandages, few band-aids and an antiseptic cream/lotion).
>> Mosquito repellant.
>> A strong back-pack to carry these.


What you shouldn’t do?
Using any scent or perfume is not advised as it distracts the wildlife of a forest. Remember that most animals and birds have very high smelling ability, and uses it to identify predators. You should also avoid wearing any bright clothes as it may  attract unwanted attention.

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