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After a few turtle sightings, snake spottings, and bird run-ins, we’ve become more interested in wildlife viewing and identification.
Might as well know what it is before it bites or pecks you so you can react accordingly, right?!
Here are 3 wildlife viewing tools that will help boost your ID IQ:
I know, I know! You are outside to get away from your phone & technology, but I promise you’ll LOVE this app!
Simply download the app, create a simple profile, and start uploading your wildlife photos with location details.
The app immediately suggests what the plant, animal, bug, spider, fungi, or whatever’s official name could be- complete with comparative photos and range map. Then a helpful, educated community of over 750,000 scientists & naturalists provides their commentary & verification.
You pick the correct name for your observation based on the suggestions & verifications, and voilà! Your very own verified wildlife-viewing collection library!
Internet access isn’t always what it could be, and you may still want (or need) to know what the bug or bird or plant you saw earlier was.
We recently stocked our RV with a collection of Field Guides (right next to the dot matrix printer and the rotary dial phone- JK!) that we can nerd out with when we spot something and are out of range…not that I won’t upload it to iNaturalist later!
Everyone has a different way of learning or enjoying information, so make sure the field guide you buy is organized in a way that is useful to YOU.
A great example- my favorite field guide so far is Birds of Pennsylvania by Stan Tekiela. Stan sorts birds the easiest way possible for an extreme amateur like me: by color. In addition, he tells you what else looks like that particular bird and what the distinguishing features are, so you don’t have to jump around if you managed to come close to identifying it.
We’re also fans of the National Audonbon Society Field Guide to Reptiles & Amphibians and Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America.
When we are relaxing in the RV, we always see odd, bizarre things in the campground. Some of them are even animals or birds!
We just got a pair of binoculars for Christmas, and not only are they useful to see birds or squirrels or groundhogs up close (sorry, that’s all we’ve seen so far from the RV window), but they are also useful to see across a river or lake, examine a dam up close, or look up on a mountaintop.
We haven’t been curious enough to lug them with us hiking just yet, but check back!
If bugs & spiders are your thing, pick up the National Geographic Pocket Guide to Insects and a PETA Humane Bug Catcher, Carefully close the sliding door, then view & identify your specimen through the clear window part up close before you let it go free!
Can you add any must-haves to this wildlife spotting from the RV list?