Birding when travelling

Frequently Asked Questions About Birding #10:

I’m going overseas. What field guide should I buy?

This can be a daunting task.

I would compromise and not buy a single guide for every country I plan to visit. If your budget stretches that far, fantastic. I’d be worried about the weight in my luggage, however.

Instead, do what I did in early 2006. I went trekking in Nepal for three weeks. I bought the “Field Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent.” This covered the birds of India, Nepal, Bhutan, and parts of Tibet and other neighbouring countries. It included all the species I was likely to encounter in Nepal, plus a wider area for potential future travels. For example, I would love to visit India, not just for the birds but also for the cultural experiences.

Do your homework:

Don’t forget to buy the field guide at least six months before departure and do your homework, studying the birds you are likely to see. It makes identification in the field so much easier. I studied my field guide on the long flight over.

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