Bird Watchers

Bird Watchers
The Bird watching Fellowship commenced in 1991, with its presence at the Mexico convention.

At it commenced the tradition of holding field trips during the convention to seek out local birds. Ultimately such trips took place the day immediately after the international  convention in order not to interfere with any of the scheduled events of the convention. With the aid of local leaders such trips customarily locate about fifty local species. Between 20 to 30 members usually take part in these events.

The first lengthier trip occurred after the Singapore convention, 1999, through much of central Malaysia, for seven days.

Funny fact about bird watching. Bird watching is often considered a lazy hobby. People mistakenly assume that bird watchers just sit around in various spots waiting to catch sight of various species of birds. When, in fact, the truth is that bird watching requires a fairly active lifestyle. More often than not, bird watching implies long walks, difficult treks and sore muscles. As for sitting in one spot, when you have to stay crouched on a hard rock for better part of the day you end up straining muscles you didn’t even know you had.

When you set out for a bird watching trip, you need to know how to pack right, have your equipment ready (binoculars and/or camera, if you are keen to capture digitally or on print the birds you see) and carry plenty of sunscreen and water to stay hydrated. Bird watching or birding as it is sometimes referred to as, is a complete outdoor activity.

If you intend to take this up seriously, then it’s important to know that you can’t jump into this with zero preparation. This is especially true, if you intend to take a birding tour. while bird watching is not as intense as say a marathon, if you do not exercise at all, then even bird watching will wear you down, more so, if you are carrying a few extra pounds.

One way is to try shedding some excess fat, take a few supplements, boost metabolism, products like Eco Slim can help you there. However, this should be backed up with light to moderate exercise. The exercise is not just to tone your muscles, but regular exercises will also improve your stamina which in turn will help you walk and trek more comfortably when bird watching.

Staying fit and active will definitely help you walk longer with fewer breaks. It will also mean that you don’t huff and puff  100 meters into a trek.

Rare birds and several species are often found in hills, mountains and forests. You need to be able to kit yourself to stay outdoors, walk long hours, while carrying your backpack of essential supplies. All this while keeping your binoculars on the ready.

Bird watching is also a restful activity. You can’t thunder through woods, making loud noise and disturbing the natural habitat of birds because then these birds will take flight before you can catch a glimpse. The idea is to keep your distance, be as inconspicuous as possible, make less to no noise and not disturb their environment at all. Stay low, stay still and if possible, stay hidden – 3 key mantras that have helped countless avid bird watchers and photographers view the several hundred rare species of birds on our planet.

There are so many active groups of bird watchers who organize several walking tours across the globe. One among them are the tours organized by rotarians. Rotary clubs are popular all over the world and the bird watching tours are conducted through Africa, India, Singapore, Malaysia, South America, etc.

In May of 2001, a fifteen day trip was organized through southern Africa, including Kruger National Park and much of Swaziland and Botswana.  Much of the transportation  and accommodation in Africa was through the assistance of local Rotarians.

Environmental projects have been assisted financially in Bolivia and India.

English Newsletters are mailed to all members , with translations now to those of Spanish extraction, three times yearly. The publisher is Joan Heidelberg of Troy, Ohio. The full membership list is up-dated annually and sent to all members.

There are now over 250 members, within 45 countries.

The initiator of the Fellowship was Dick Tafel of North Bay, Ontario, Canada. In June of 2002 he was superceded as titular president by Mike Lakin of Botswana, Africa. Treasurer is Ann Treimann of Conn. U.S.A.; Vice President, Steve Leonard of Martinsville, Indiana.