You may never have been birdwatching in your life. But if you ever do feel the urge to spend some time observing a few of Louisiana's more than 470 species of birds in their natural habitat you probably have one of bird watching's essential tools already--your smart phone.
In the Northshore Bird Club's "Birding for Beginners," a very nicely done and concise pamphlet for novices to the sport, iPhones are recommended equipment for birding. (Binoculars and field guides are considered "Essential".) Many applications (apps) valuable to the birder can be downloaded. (And you thought the only birds on your phone were Angry Birds.) Photographs and drawings of just about any bird there is can be downloaded and viewed while on the trail along with habitat info and even their calls, which can be played to attract species you might think are in the area.
Tom Trenchard, the club librarian, is shown here using his phone to call birds during the recent "Fall Birdwalk Through the Woods," a joint venture of the Northlake Nature Center and the club. The group of over 30 rank-and-file birders and four leaders identified 38 species, a bald eagle among them, Trenchard reported.
The club website www.minilogic.com/nsbirders, is too out of date to offer upcoming birding events but you might find a contact in the site for more recent information about birding events.