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By Jofa
#90191
Hi! I'm Joe.

New to birding, I'm looking to fully immerse myself in bird culture right away. I'm going birding with a small group of friends on Sunday on the North Shore. Are there any Vancouver birding groups that do regular outings together? If not, would anyone like to create one with me? Where are some of the best areas in town to go? We'll take only pictures and leave only footprints.

What's a good affordable setup with decent range and resolution for taking bird photos? I've seen monocular telescopes set up with camera phones that look good to me. Are they terrible? Is a proper DSLR with long telephoto zoom lens kit the only way to go?

What are your favourite birds in town to watch? Which species have stuck around longer than usual this year due to the warm weather this winter?

Also, how many people do you folks feel is appropriate to have in a group outside while birding during the pandemic?

Let's get something going. Feel free to add me as a friend and message me!

Thanks!
#90201
Your in luck, there is already a bunch of different groups. Metro Vancouver has a strong population of birders of all skills levels. With Covid restrictions, I believe all of these groups put walks on hold. This is just temporary as I know for a fact that most organizations what to resume the walks and group birding asap.

Some resources:
https://naturevancouver.ca/
https://naturevancouver.ca/birding/bird ... ing_sites/
https://ebird.org/region/CA-BC-GV (Get the eBird App, sign up, its free!)
https://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/ (Companion App -- integrated with eBird, also free!)
https://birdnet.cornell.edu/ (OMG, another great app by Cornell. Free again. Records what you hear and tries to make a guess what it is)
https://www.meetup.com/ (lots of birding and nature groups)
https://ubcbirdingclub.wordpress.com/
... and the list goes on.

And of course feel free to start another group. Birding in a small group all at roughly the same level is really a lot of fun! There are many birding circles to join and room for more!

I will quickly touch on the other questions:

Winter: Actually best time to begin birding (no leaves--easier to spot, lots of wintering birds, not migration--so birds not coming and going)

Camera: I would suggest a compact digital with at least 20x zoom ( >400mm). Panasonic, Nikon, Canon make good point and shoot compact DSLRs.

Group size: 2-6 is an good size for a group out birding. (but not right now--BCHealthOffice directives) . The larger the group, the less you see / hear--those at the back usually miss things.

The only point I will add is to have a look at the birding ethics and ethical field practices. They may not seem that important now but due care and attention to the ethics and practices is the key making connections in the birding community.

Cheers and good birding,
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