Bird watching is a great way to connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors, and Maryland provides wonderful opportunities to see a variety of species, from charming backyard birds like the Carolina Chickadee and Northern Cardinal to migrants like the Prothonotary Warbler and coastal species like the Brown Pelican. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, about 50 million Americans are bird watchers, and bird watching contributed about $36 billion to the economy in 2006.
One reason bird watching is so popular is that birds are everywhere, and anyone can find and observe them. Their beautiful plumage, varied and intricate behavior, and seasonal migrations make birds fascinating to study. To get started with bird watching, all you need to do is look out your window. To learn more, such as how to use a field guide, select binoculars and identify birds, visit How to Begin Birding and explore the links below.
Maryland Birding – MDBirding is an open group for discussing the topics of birds and birding in Maryland and DC. Discussions range from backyard birds to regional rarities.
Maryland Ornithological Society (MOS) – MOS has bird clubs in almost every county in Maryland, many of which host weekly bird walks throughout Maryland. MOS also maintains The Maryland Yellowthroat, a quarterly journal for ornithology in Maryland, and maintains a listserv for bird sightings.
eBird –eBird allows birdwatchers to report their sightings online to scientists who will use the data to study bird distribution, movements and abundance trends. It’s also a great place to electronically store your bird lists.