Zine Review: Birder Beginnings: Introduction to Bird Watching

Birder Beginnings: Introduction to Bird Watching
Sarah E. Hoffman
hoffmans99@hotmail.com
84acres.blogspot.ca

Birder Beginnings is a black and white comprehensive beginner’s guide to bird watching and birding, and boy am I ever a beginner.

The chaos of the house move delayed my reading this zine, but I’m almost grateful for it (save for the annoyance of the delay for Sarah). Since moving to a much quieter place, I’ve been hearing so many more bird calls and have a greater appreciation for this zine.

Birder Beginnings takes you by the hand and leads you into the world of birding. Sarah’s writing is informative without waffling, telling you things you don’t need to know, or distracting from the subject. The cut and paste style fits in very well with the guidebook style of the zine.

I was impressed by the amount of information that was packed inside. There are so many elements of birding – and bird watching; I now know there is a difference – that I simply wouldn’t have been able to even guess before. Sarah writes about how binoculars work, developing and advancing your skills, birding event etiquette, and plenty more. There are even events and various types of documenting the birds you’ve spotted.

There’s even a list for further reading, and you know how much I love lists for where to get more info.

While this may seem overwhelming, Sarah makes it clear at the beginning that all you require to start is the ability to enjoy nature.

The part I appreciated most was the ‘birds in your backyard’ section. The specific of breeds and seeds may not all be applicable in Australia, but the ideas and tips are. Even better, I felt like they were things I could implement fairly easily. I feel inspired and am looking forward to making the space I have bird-friendly.

As I mentioned, I am a complete beginner to all of this, but I feel like this zine has all the information anyone needs to get going for anything from casual bird watching to more involved birding.

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