A hat and gloves in the snow.

Safety
   While
      Birding

What to Wear?

Whether birding in the city or in a more natural outdoor area, the first step is always to check the weather. No matter the season, we recommend close-toed shoes (no sandals), long pants, and a hat to protect you from bugs, ticks, and poison ivy.  Also, keep in mind it is cooler and windier by the water (lakes, coasts, etc).

Winter

  • Waterproof closed-toe shoes or snow boots

  • Warm socks

  • Long pants

  • Layers!

  • Winter coat

  • Hat, gloves, scarf

  • Sunscreen (yes in winter on your face)

Spring

  • Waterproof close-toed shoes or rain boots

  • Long pants

  • Layers!

  • Raincoat or jacket

  • Hat, gloves, scarf

  • Sunscreen

  • Bugspray

Summer

  • Waterproof close-toed shoes or rain boots

  • Long pants (still)

  • Hat

  • Sunscreen

  • Bugspray

Fall

  • Waterproof close-toed shoes or rain boots

  • Long pants

  • Layers!

  • Raincoat or jacket

  • Hat, gloves, scarf

  • Sunscreen

  • Bugspray

Other safety information

Know where you're going - and let someone else know

If you've never been to a birding spot, or you've only been there a few times, look up a map of the birding spot beforehand. Sometimes a birding spot might not have good cell service, so you can't rely on looking up details in the field. And let someone else know (parent, guardian, sibling) where you're going and when you plan to be back.

Water, food, & friends - the ultimate safety trio

Bring water! A liter for a half-day trip or shorter, more if it's hot and you're out for longer. A snack like a granola bar or an apple is important if you're out for more than a couple of hours. Finally, try going birding with friends or family. In general, birding is a safe activity, but the best way to ensure your safety is to not go birding alone. Plus, birding with others is more fun.

Being aware while birding

It's important to always be aware of your surroundings. On our trips, your guides will make you aware of any safety hazards (for example, don't touch this plant it will make you itchy!). It's also important to be careful about walking and using binoculars at the same time. Never bird while crossing the street.

In New England, we have a rich community of hunters that share our outdoor spaces. Always be aware if there is potential for hunting in your birding spot, and dress in bright colors.

Birds are everywhere, including on private property. Be aware of property boundaries and any no trespassing signs. Also, if you are birding in a residential area, some folks might be nervous that you are walking around with binoculars. Be conscientious not to point binoculars towards houses.

Covid considerations

Birding is a great pandemic activity for many reasons, but COVID 19 is still a problem. Make sure to bring a mask to wear in case you run into other people at your birding spot. Bring a travel-sized hand sanitizer in your pocket as well. Give people, including your birding friends, 6-feet of space.
 

Any MYBC birding events for the foreseeable future will require participants to wear masks and keep at least 6 feet apart. We appreciate your understanding.