Close

Site Information

Blog

The Dos and Don’ts of Birding Fashion

Posted by Amanda Joest on

From the backyard to the trail there are several factors to consider when deciding on proper birding attire. Wearing the right thing can make all the difference for protection and comfort to maximize the bird watching experience. The following are some of the best “Do’s & Don’ts” for choosing your field wardrobe depending on the habitat, temperature, and season. 


DO go for clothing that is all about function

Since you’re out on the trail for hours, or even all day, you’ll want everything right at your fingertips. Some of the best clothes for function include cargo pants, birding vests, and sturdy, comfortable footwear. Cargo pants are a must for birders. The deep pockets are perfect for tools such as field guides and notebooks while the belt loops are ideal for holding knives, a compass, and other equipment. Long pants on the trail are always a good idea, even in hot weather, because they protect against bees, mosquitos, ticks, and other common outdoor pests. Birding vests are extremely popular because the pockets are great for holding plenty of gear, even binoculars, and can easily take the place of a field bag. Comfortable boots with adequate tread and proper ankle support are crucial for functional footwear. Be sure they are waterproof and the laces aren’t too long.


DON’T wear brand new shoes

Avoid wearing brand new shoes out for long excursions. You’ll want to ensure they are worn in so you don’t get blisters or chafing.


DO go for comfortable, relaxed fit clothing 

When it comes to birding fashion, comfort is top of the list. It should go without saying, that the more comfortable your clothes are, the longer you’ll want to stay out in the field.


DON’T wear heavy restrictive clothing. 

Too restrictive or heavy clothing can be irritating and uncomfortable, so go for lightweight, breathable fabrics. Try to dress in layers so as the temperature changes throughout the day you’ll be able to adjust accordingly without interrupting your activity. 


DON’T wear loud clothing

This may seem a bit silly, but the quieter your clothing can be, the better. For instance, avoid wearing corduroy pants, a nylon jacket, or shoes that squeak, so you can get even closer to the birds in their habitats. Birds have exceptional hearing so regardless of what you wear they know you’re around, but the quieter the outfit the better. Buckles, accessories, and even loud zippers that rattle can all be distracting and impede your birding experience.


DO wear camouflage 

While you certainly don’t need to wear army fatigues, experienced birders know that blending in with the habitat is key to exploring the area. Choose subdued shades of gray, brown, and green and completely avoid bright colors, especially white, which is a color birds most often associate with danger. 

There are exceptions to this color rule, however. If you choose to go birding during hunting season it’s important to follow the recommended guidelines so you stay safe. Bright hats or pinning a strip of bright cloth to your clothing will help make you stand out and recognized by hunters who may be nearby. Additionally, if you are birding for hummingbirds in a garden, then bright colors are also important. Colors such as red, yellow, and orange will help to attract the birds so you get a better view. 


DO consider the Environment

As mentioned previously, long pants and long sleeves can help to keep insects from biting, while also blocking excessive sun. You’ll also want to consider the environment you will be birding in and choose waterproof clothing and thermal clothing if necessary.


DO wear all-weather gear

Always choose clothing that you don’t mind getting wet, dirty, or just plain ruined. After all, professional birders are known to do anything they can for a good look at the birds even if it means crouching in the mud or rubbing against scratchy bushes.


DON’T forget to cover your head

Wearing a hat is a good idea because it breaks up the outline of your face for better disguise near wary birds. 


DON’T wear UV reflective clothing

Birds can actually see UV light and they will act accordingly by avoiding it. Avoid wearing any sort of clothing that reflects UV light.


Without a doubt, the best type of birding fashion is both comfortable and highly functional so you not only feel good while you’re in the field but also get a lot of use out of your clothing, too. Choosing the best birding clothing, will allow for hours of bird watching and allow you to get closer to the birds than you imagined.

View Comments


Conservation programs and organizations and the heroes of bird conservation.

With so many factors including various pollutants, over development, and natural disasters affecting the life and welfare of birds, conservation of wild bird habitats is as important as ever. Luckily, many people volunteer their time and energy to help with the vital goal of changing the lives of birds for the better. These heroes of bird conservation work [...]

Read More »


​Endangered Bird Species in the United States and the Pollutants Causing Harm

Despite the many conservation programs and organizations led by the heroes of bird conservation, there continue to be issues affecting the lives and wellbeing of birds today. As bird lovers it’s important to be aware of how environmental factors such as air and noise pollution are effecting our feathered friends, as well as the overall condition of birds today including which [...]

Read More »


​Birding Safely

Birding is such a fun and engaging pastime that it can be hard to imagine that there is any need for safety concern. However, just like with any outdoor activity, everything from sun protection to personal security should be taken into precaution. The following are some tips to keep you safe when you’re out birding. 1. Watch where you’re walkingThose [...]

Read More »


Birding Events with Dad this Father’s Day

From baseball games to bowling, fishing to golf, Father’s Day is a time to hang out with Dad and do all the things he loves. This year, celebrate Dad and make him feel extra special by taking him to one of these fun-filled birding events. With canoe trips, birding presentations, and nature hikes, these engaging activities are exactly what [...]

Read More »


​How to Identify Bird Calls This Summer

The beautiful sounds from our feathered friends are just part of what make birding a joy. Although lovely, when a bird sings, it isn’t simply a sweet song, it is actually an indicator of the type and location of the bird. Because birds are often hidden in the trees or brush, learning bird calls is a great way [...]

Read More »


​Mother’s Day Bird Hikes – Make Mom’s day special with these fun hikes

If you’re looking for something fun and unique to do with Mom this Mother’s Day Weekend, then a birding hike might just be the answer! Take mom and the rest of the family to one of these local bird hikes for a very special and memorable day. To make it even more unforgettable, get mom a new pair [...]

Read More »


​Tips for Bird Photography

Those who enjoy birding, quite often take an interest in bird photography as well. It’s practically impossible not to want to capture the breathtaking colors and unique features of our feathered friends while gazing at their beauty. Many also appreciate the exhilarating challenge that comes with capturing wildlife in their nature habitats.For those just starting out, the good news [...]

Read More »


​Birding Festivals to Attend This Spring

Spring has finally sprung and that can mean only one thing – it’s birding festival season! We’ve rounded up some of the best and most exciting birding festivals happening around the country this spring, so get your binoculars and cameras ready, these are too good to miss!  NORTHWEST  Harney County Migratory Bird Festival, Burns, Oregon, April 6-9Join in on the fun [...]

Read More »


10 Favorite Bird Watching Locations Across America

On any given day in the United States millions of bird lovers are outside watching birds. Not only is bird watching a fun and enjoyable hobby, it’s a great way to get outdoors and even get some exercise too. If you’re used to enjoying the birds from your own backyard, why not explore the immense beauty of nature and [...]

Read More »