Is bird watching like milestone watching?
Watching for milestones and bird watching have much in common. For both:
- Milestones and birds are easily missed; they come and go.
- Little happens for long periods of time; you need patience.
- You may be sleepy when your target is active.
- Your view may be blocked.
- It’s hard to find the time to watch.
Such difficulties are forgotten when you finally see a new bird or milestone.
A good field guide helps
Birders use field guides that describe each bird. Such guides are portable and practical. They allow for record keeping.
Bird books differ in a major way: some use photographs, whereas others rely on drawings. As a novice birder you need to decide which to use.
Are photos or drawings better?
Most birders prefer drawings. Surprised? Why would drawings be better? Experienced bird artists create drawings that are simple. They emphasize defining features. They omit unimportant details. Such simplification is hard to accomplish with photographs.
Wild birds are — let’s be honest here — flighty. Like babies, birds don’t hold still.
Camouflaged by dappled shadows and light, birds hide in plain sight. That makes the photographer’s task very difficult.
I tried both types of bird books, and I always preferred the drawings. I applied that to milestones descriptions.
The Catalog is a field guide for baby milestones
The Catalog artist highlighted the important and left out the irrelevant. Her drawings will help you see the key features of each milestone.
If you haven’t done so already, look at all the milestone drawings.