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Noah Hall 1 year ago
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title: Getting Started with Birdwatching
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First, please understand that I'm not an expert! I'm just an amateur who's been putting some measure of time and energy into the hobby for a few years now. But one great thing about birding is that being an amateur is totally normal and fun as hell. So with that in mind, here are some key resources and suggestions from my experience.
First, please understand that I'm not an expert! I'm just an amateur who's been putting some measure of time and energy into the hobby for a few years now. But in birding, being an amateur is totally normal and fun as hell. So with that in mind, here are some key resources and suggestions from my experience. I don't know yet whether I will update this as I go - if it's helpful to you, I'd love to hear about it!
## Apps
## Contents:
- [Noticing](#noticing)
- [Apps](#apps)
- [Books](#books)
Let's just talk about the computery bits first. There are some *great* apps to help you learn and keep track of your sightings:
<a id="noticing"></a>
### Noticing
Birdwatching starts with noticing. It's a way of paying attention, engaging curiosity and being receptive to what's around you. I will talk a little bit about gear, but you can develop a deep and satisfying knowledge about your local birds and seasonal visitors with just your senses. That's how it started for me - I was playing with my children in the driveway, and gradually I became aware of a charming and distinctive bird call, a four-note pattern
<a id="apps"></a>
### Apps
There are some *great* apps to help you learn and keep track of your sightings:
* __eBird__: this one may feel a bit intimidating but it's an invaluable resource.
* __Merlin Bird ID__: This is going to be your go-to helper when trying to identify something. Its finder tool is excellent. It starts by asking about location and date, then lets you select details about size, color, habitat etc. before showing you a list of possible matches sorted from most to least likely. The data in this app is the same as that on [AllAboutBirds.org](https://www.allaboutbirds.org), which is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's online portal for details on species identification, ranges, etc.


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* [BeLoved Asheville](www.belovedasheville.com)
* [Steady Collective](www.thesteadycollective.org)
* [Manna Food Bank](www.mannafoodbank.org)
* [12 Baskets / Asheville Poverty Initiative](https://www.ashevillepovertyinitiative.org/12baskets)
* [Root Cause Farm](https://rootcausefarm.org/)
* [HelpMate WNC](https://helpmateonline.org/)
* [Our VOICE](https://www.ourvoicenc.org/)
* [Rural Organizing And Resilience](https://ruralorganizing.wordpress.com/)
* [Southerners on New Ground](http://www.southernersonnewground.org/)
* [Manna Food Bank](www.mannafoodbank.org)
* [Southern Poverty Law Center](https://splc.org)
* [Southern Environmental Law Center](https://www.southernenvironment.org/)
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* *Manzanita*, The Tony Rice Unit
* *Dub Massive Chapter One*, Bill Laswell
* *Avalon*, Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge
* *Universal Favorite*, Noam Pikelny
* *Poinciana*, Ahmad Jamal
* *The Koln Concert*, Keith Jarrett


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