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Birding Armenia

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Birds in Armenia

Bird Watching Tips

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Birders


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Bird Watching Tips

TourArmenia -

If you are new at bird-watching, using a field guide will prove invaluable.  The Birds In Armenia Field Guide includes a chapter on what to look for in determining bird types, plus detailed descriptions of each bird's features, habitiat, behavior and nesting habits. 

For the beginner, eyes and ears are good enough to begin spotting birds.  Binoculars or a spotting scope are recommended for more detailed sightings (and to avoid encroching on nesting areas), esp. for falcons, kites, eagles and buzzards in flight, which carry disinctive markings on their under-wings. Like stargazing, a 7x40 or 7x50 will be quite enough.  Bincoulars are expensive, so be sure of the magnification and field of vision before you buy.

Move carefully and dress to blend in with your surroundings, look for a good hiding spot, and be prepared to wait a spell.  Bird-watching is not for the hyperactive or the impatient. Good spots to hide are behind rocks and bushes, or in tall reeds and grass. 

Be careful you don't accidentally walk into a nest, though.  Good times to observe are early in the morning when birds first feed, and in the evening before they nest for the night.  In all regions of the country, good places to begin observations are by rivers, ponds springs and lakes.  Even the most stubborn cliff or desert dweller will visit their nearest safe watering hole during the day.

The variety of birds in Armenia is at its greatest in the Spring (March-May), during the northward migration.  The variety available for observation in the lowlands and by water areas includes birds that normally inhabit upper elevations, but nest near marshes and rivers.  Autumn (September-November) is also a good time to observe Southward Migrations, including the only time to spot the Greater Flamingo, a rare visitor which favors Lake Sevan.

A notebook for making records of sightings is helpful, and will assist conservation efforts if a rare or uncommon sighting is recorded.  If you intend to make records that will be shared with others (and useful to conservationists), always include the following in your entries:

1)Date

2) geographic location and directions to sight,

3)Time of observation

4) Habitat description,

5) weather conditions (temperature, wind direction and speed, percent cloud cover, amount of sun, amount of precipitaiton or absence thereof). 

The more accurate and detailed the description, the better use it is to naturalists and conservationists.

For rare or endangered species, these records should include all of the above, and add

1) all observers present,

2) duration of observations,

3) optical equipment used

4) previous experience with species by observers ,

5) observer who found the bird or birds,

6) observer who identified it,

7) those who disagree with identification,

8) note if photographed,

9) certainty of identification

10) as complete a description as possible of the physical aspects of the bird and its behavior.

Endangered Species
105 species of birds in Armenia are considered threatened or endangered, with their habit being steadily eroded by human encroachment.  If you do spot a bird you think is rare or endangered, be sure to report it, even if you didn't take field notes.  It is invaluable help to conservations. 

The Birds In Armenia Project are the authors of the field guide, "The Birds of Armenia", the only printed source on this topic. They are also the only group working to exclusively conserve bird habitats.  They offer tours and guided visits, for a fee. You can reach them in Yerevan by calling Dr. Martin Adamian or his assistants Levan and Luba at (Tel (3741) 151-413, 28-15-02). 




LINKS

BIRDING WEB SITES
Birds of Armenia Project
Eco Center
Armenia The Annotated Ramsar List: Armenia
Ornithological Society of the Middle East: Trip report - 1995
Ornithological Society of the Middle East: Trip report - 2000
Birdlife International partner in Armenia (no content)
Armenian Flora/Fauna Stamps
Bird Checklist

ERMC
National Academy of Sciences of Armenia
United Nations Envirnment Program for Armenia (strong material, if Euro-colonialist in style)
Protected Areas of Armenia
Map of Sevan National Park
Threatened Species in Armenia

INDIVIDUAL TRIP REPORTS
Individual - September 2000
Individual - July 1998
Ramsar Field Trip on Armenia's Wetlands (1998)

GUIDES / TRIPS
Birds of Armenia (Luba and Levon) @ Zoological Institute [+ (3741) 28-15-02 ]


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