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Birdwatching for Beginners

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”

– Henry van Dyke

The United States is home to 1,107 different species of birds – and there are over 10,000 species of birds globally. Birdwatching provides a moment of pause, a calming moment in nature to forget about the problems of the world, boosting mental health and relieving stress. But how easy is it for beginners to get started?

Luckily you don’t need much to START identifying the native and migratory birds in your back yard or in the Olmsted Parks.  

All you need is:

  1. A Bird Identification guidebook or app like this one from Audubon Society or the Merlin Bird ID app
  2. A good place to look for birds – like the Nettleroth Bird Sanctuary, Summit Field or even your own backyard!
  3. Binoculars (optional)

Identifying Birds

Your bird identification guides can help you identify birds based on the following clues:

Learn more at audubon.org.


Great Birding Spots in the Olmsted Parks

Looking for birds is easy, if you know where to go! You can see a wide variety of birds by visiting the lush tree canopy in the Nettleroth Bird Sanctuary in Cherokee Park or the prairie meadows in Summit Field in Iroquois Park.

Fred Facts
Olmsted believed all people would meet and mingle in parks, thus overcoming the barriers of class and wealth.

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