The Birdist’s Rules of Birding

“So what’s this all about? Primarily, this column is going to be a guide for nascent birders, the “bird curious” among us, if you will, looking to get deeper into the hobby.”

Birdist Rule #56: Figure Out Your Food Strategy While Birding

— Are you a bring-it-from-home type of person, or do you enjoy grabbing your meals on the go?

Birdist Rule #61: Find Your First Phoebe, the Gateway Flycatcher

— Identifying flycatchers can be unbelievably frustrating, so start off easy.
The author shows off his tattoo of two Black-legged Kittiwakes, which are based on an original drawing from David Allen Sibley that he now owns. Camilla Cerea/Audubon

Birdist Rule #75: Get a Bird Tattoo, and Make It a Good One

— What makes a good bird tattoo you ask? Well, read on!

Birdist Rule #42: Discover the Thrill of Chasing a Rare Bird

— There's nothing like the excitement—and dread—that comes from driving across multiple states to possibly see a rarity.
A big year champion in the making. Just give him until 2035. Camilla Cerea/Audubon

Birdist Rule #7: Take a Kid Birding

— Helping the next generation learn the joys of birding is important, but first you have to make it fun. Try these tips.
Don't be fooled: From a distance, the male Bufflehead looks all black and white, but an up-close inspection reveals an iridescent purple-green on its head feathers. Pam Polcyn/Audubon Photography Awards

Birdist Rule #106: Go Find Yourself a Bufflehead

— Ready to move on from Mallards? Start with these adorable little ducks.
An Osprey's raw power and massive talons are qualities perfectly adapted to pluck a live fish from water and lift off again. C. Goshert/Great Backyard Bird Count

Birdist Rule #93: Understand How Different Raptors Are Built to Hunt Their Prey

— Other than just being cool to know, it can also help you find and identify them.

Birdist Rule #29: Try Birding After Dark

— It can be a challenge, but it can also be highly rewarding.

Birdist Rule #99: Make Some New Year's Birding Resolutions

— Let 2017 be your best birding year yet.
On screen, Bald Eagles are routinely given the call of a Red-tailed Hawk. Spencer Craig/Audubon Photography Awards

Birdist Rule #50: Learn to Live with Bird Errors in TV and Movies

— Don't let the frustration drive you insane.