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Ascend to Better Birding At Bonnet House

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

Here at Bonnet House, we are fortunate enough to have large, expansive gardens on our property. In fact, the Bonnet House estate contains five unique ecosystems which showcase some of the last examples of a native barrier island habitat in South Florida. These pristine habitats offer excellent opportunities for our guests to view nature as well as hundreds of beautiful native and migratory birds, among other animal species. For this reason, Bonnet House is a popular place for many South Florida residents and visitors to go birding.

Contrary to popular belief, birding is not a passive activity. In fact, birding involves actively listening to and searching for birds that you wouldn’t notice if you were just looking out of your back window. Here at Bonnet House, we are fortunate enough to have the space for a variety of birds to visit and build their nests. This is why we do our best to educate guests about birding practices so that they can enjoy and identify some of these beautiful creatures.

On March 6th, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, we will be hosting a comprehensive birding class that will go over a 10-step approach to identifying birds by their family groups, behaviors, field marks, plumage, habitat, and more. The class will include an informative PowerPoint presentation, numerous handouts that you can take home, a workshop activity, and a walk around the garden to look for birds.

If you are interested in taking this popular birding course, please be sure to bring the following items with you:
● Binoculars
● A field guide (can be provided to guests, if needed)
● Birding apps on your phone (optional)

Here at Bonnet House, we understand how popular birding is in the South Florida community. We hope that you can take this opportunity to learn something new, improve upon your bird watching skills, and maybe even see something new! To learn more and register for this course, click here.

Bird Watching or Birding – How They Differ

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

Here at Bonnet House, we are fortunate enough to have large, expansive gardens on our property. In fact, the Bonnet House estate contains five unique ecosystems which showcase some of the last examples of a native barrier island habitat in South Florida. These pristine habitats offer excellent opportunities for our guests to view nature as well as hundreds of beautiful native and migratory birds, among other animal species. For this reason, Bonnet House is a popular place for many South Florida residents and visitors to go bird watching and/or birding. But what exactly is the difference between these two activities?

Although these two activities might seem like the same thing, they are actually quite different. Invision this scenario: you are enjoying a morning cup of coffee by a window while looking out at your back yard. As you gaze out the window, you happen to notice a mother robin feeding her babies in the nest by your window. The act of viewing these birds while sipping your warm coffee is known as bird watching.

On the other hand, birding is a bit more complicated. In order to understand the difference between bird watching and birding, we need to take this scenario a step further. After seeing the robin and her babies, let’s say you decide to take a walk through your yard in the hopes of locating more birds with nests. You even bring your binoculars and a camera so you don’t miss out on any bird photo opportunities. The act of seeking out these birds is known as birding. Bird watching is a passive activity, where birding is much more active. Birding involves actively searching for birds or listening for their calls. Bird watching, on the other hand, involves observing birds when you just happen to see them.

At Bonnet House, we understand that both bird watching and birding are very popular, especially in the South Florida community. Because of this, we have been offering Birding Classes for quite some time now. In these classes guided by expert Paddy Cunningham, guests will learn how to spot birds and identify specific species and behaviors. You’ll have the opportunity to take photographs, view bird watching videos, and even make your own. Classes are typically $20 for members, and $25 for non-members.

If you’d like more information about Bonnet House’s birding classes, or if you would like to simply learn more about birding and bird watching opportunities at Bonnet House, click here!

September Birding Classes at Bonnet House

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

This September, Bonnet House is excited to announce two new birding classes! We’ll be offering ‘Ascend To Better Birding I’ on September 9th, and ‘Ascend To Better Birding II,’ on September 23rd, both of which will cover everything you’ll need to know to become an expert Bird Watcher.

Ascend To Better Birding I will cover the essentials of birding. This includes binocular best practices, a bird checklist and field guide with field marks, glossary, and family organization. You’ll even get to learn how to use some of the latest birding apps, like e-bird, Audubon, and Merlin to make identification easier using your smartphone.

You’ll also have the opportunity to learn the benefits of becoming a bird watcher, great local birding hotspots, and wonderful birding opportunities locally, in Florida and tropical adventures abroad. The workshop will include an informative presentation with numerous handouts, and an enjoyable bird walk through our gardens.

Ascend To Better Birding II will take the information from the first class to the next level. You will go over a 10 step approach to increase your ability to identify birds. This information will include helpful information regarding family groups, behavior, silhouette, habitat, field marks, commonality, seasonality, birding by ear, plumage, as well as the uses of checklists and apps.

One of the most important things you’ll learn in these classes is that a good bird watcher is always prepared! Don’t forget to bring your binoculars, and a field guide (if possible, field guides can be provided upon request).

You won’t want to miss out on these fun and informative events that will be sure to enhance your birding eye. If you’d like to register, the costs are $20 for members, and $25 for non-members. If you’d like to register for Ascend to Better Birding I, click here . If you’d like to register for Ascend to Better Birding II, click here .