> Back to Hobbies

Part 1: Listen and Read: Listen to the recording, answer the questions, then read along with the audio recording.

Last year, I took up the hobby of birding or birdwatching after my friend took me out to observe some birds out near the lake. Basically, birding involves observing birds in their natural habitat. (Actually, you don’t need to leave your backyard to observe many birds.)

The best seasons to watch birds are in the spring and fall as they migrate from north to south in many areas. I usually go out with my binoculars and a field guidebook in the mornings because most birds are very active and feed at that time. You also have to know where to look to see them and how to recognize their bird calls. Because I’m new to birding, I consult my bird guidebook to look up specific varieties of birds. You have to look carefully at their plumage (feathers), the way they behave and move, and their size to recognize many birds because some look very similar.

Also, take note of the time of year you see birds because this information might tell you more about their breeding range and migration routes. Besides looking at birds, I like the activity because it gives me a chance to exercise as I hike to different locations, and it allows me to relax my mind in the great outdoors.

Part 2: Discussion

What kinds of birds would an international visitor see in your hometown?

Part 3: Online Investigation

Choose one bird that you can often see in your city. Then, use the Internet to find out more information about the species including its habitat, mating season and rituals, migration patterns, and what it eats.

Part 4: Online Listening Practice (from