Beginner’s guide to birdwatching

Birdwatching is such a relaxing and rewarding experience. But where should you begin?

  1. Every birdwatcher needs a….

Book – if you are coming to Cuba we recommend A Field guide to the Birds of Cuba by Kirkconnel and Garrido or the Endemic Birds of Cuba by Navarro

Binoculars – nothing too big or fancy. We are still working on establishing the requirements on bringing these into Cuba. As the rules change constantly, best to check with your embassy.

Clothes – it helps to have hiking boots, hiking clothes, sun screen, shades, hat, and a rain coat. Best to get these in colours that blend into nature.

Apps – may work where you are, but in places like Cuba – forget it!


  1. Further reading

You can join Facebook Groups, follow Facebook pages that provide information about the relevant places you are planning on visit to to admire the birds. You can also read blogs on the internet or join membership sites like e-bird to get more information about birds. Connect with other birders.

3.Planning on going overseas?

Research the best time to go – tropics for example have the wet and the dry seasons that may or may not suit you to visit the areas for birdwatching. Once on the ground bes to hire a guide or go in small groups to get the best experience. These guys know the best places and times to go and find most species. They are a world of experience, tap into it.

  1. When you are there, follow the rules!

No littering goes without saying. But so is no baiting, bird callers, no touching nests/eggs, no flash, don’t agitate birds, put your phone on silent, stay on the path, be mindful of your environment and others. And most of all enjoy the experience!