09 November 2020

The Rakkh Guide To Birding | Rakkh Resort In Palampur

So you’ve read our previous posts about the beautiful birdlife in the Himachal region, and hopefully are enamoured enough to try and become a birder yourself. But where do you begin? Depending on your interest levels and more, the art of birding can either be a weekend hobby or a lifetime passion. Here’s a small, straightforward guide to get you started, and hopefully you pick up birding when staying at our resort in Palampur

An eagle near our resort in Himachal

Image credits: Wikipedia

What Does It Mean To Be A Birder?
The simplest answer is, of course, observing birds in their natural habitat. But there’s a bit more to it than that. For some people, birding is done with nothing more than a pair of binoculars. For others, capturing every moment in the wild is what drives them. Yet others go a step further and become citizen scientists or even conservationists. The possibilities are numerous!

Of course, everyone has to start somewhere, and we believe that if you want to get started in birding, our resort in Palampur offers the perfect exposure to the wild! Simply stroll around our resort in Palampur while on the watch for those Himalayan Bulbuls or a Wren-Babbler, and before you know it, you’ll be submitting bird checklists of your own.

A bird at our resort in Himachal

Image credits: Wikipedia

What You Need To Get Started:
The most obvious equipment to start birding, you already own are your eyes and ears!
Honing your visual skills and hearing skills are crucial to being a good birder. Birds see and hear us much before we get to know of their presence. Even more importantly, one must learn the art of patience. As we walk around the domain of the wild, we must always remember that wildlife is generally shy, and goes under tremendous stress when disturbed. Staying still, walking on soft parts of the pathway, talking in whispers when moving: All are essentials to keep in mind.

When it comes to equipment, binoculars, a field guide and a notepad are your best friends. A good pair of binoculars will reveal details and insights into the individual that are hard to make out with naked eyes alone sometimes. A field guide is indispensable for many people, even professionals, merely for the wealth of information they carry. And a notepad will always come in handy when you want to write about what you saw.

So how do you actually start birding?

The answer is simple: Go out there and observe the beauties in their habitat! Gradually, start differentiating between the different birds you see and their individual characteristics. When it comes to birds there are several such factors that help:

The size of the bird: This is a no brainer. To identify the more common birds, size is an easily distinguishable factor. India has birds that range from 5cm to over 6ft in height. However, you’ll soon start seeing birds that are the same size but might seem different.

Color: The next factor is the difference in plumage. Some species are wildly varied when it comes to plumage, some are very much identical. The plumage of a bird is also a key factor into its evolutionary journey. If a bird is brightly colored, you can be certain the bird in question is a male.

Call: Calls are sometimes the earliest indications of birds in the area. It’s always a joy to hear the songs of birds in the morning and evening. But have you ever wondered why birds call? There are several reasons: To assert territory, to alert other birds of predators in the area, to search for a mate, or even just to have a casual conversation (known as social calls). It takes a bit of practice but with time you can learn to distinguish each call from each bird.

Behavior: If all these haven’t helped you so far, the bird’s behavior might be a good indicator as to which species it is. Is it flying around bushes quickly? Or does it glide in the sky? Does it sit in one place for a long time? Is it fighting other birds away constantly? These sort of behavioral traits are unique to every bird, again.

For instance, the Drongo family of birds is popular for their imitation calls: Some drongos can imitate nearly 30 other species of birds and even other beings like cats or a machine!

Our resort in Palampur is a pristine home for avifauna and indeed other small forms of life. The perfect place to begin your birdwatching odyssey. 

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Ghamrota Village Post Office Ballah ,Tehsil Palampur, District Kangra, Jiun, Himachal Pradesh 176061