Go Birding

New to Birding?

Is your knowledge of birds limited to “brown ones, blue ones and red ones”? Or some variation thereof? Not to worry! Birdwatching, or birding to the initiated, covers a wide range of bird identification skills and nature appreciation. The important part is to have fun and get outside to enjoy nature at its best.


Birdwatching, or “birding” for short, is one of the most popular activities in the country. Over 2000 birders have joined MOS because they wanted to share the enjoyment of watching and studying these beautiful and interesting creatures with others. Find a chapter, join the Maryland Ornithological Society, explore the Maryland Birding Guide, learn about the ethics of birdwatching and what you should do if you find an injured bird.

Field Trips

Field trips are a key activity for all our chapters. It’s great to bird with others to meet others, learn tips on identification, as well as getting the benefit from more eyes and ears as you bird. And you get tips on other places to bird and special locations or times of year.

Your best source for looking for trips you’d like to join is the MOS Calendar. Please note that occasionally field trips may be restricted to members, or may require reservations. Special instructions and restrictions are usually noted in the item summary in the calendar, as is contact information for field trip leaders.

Please come outside and bird with us.

Upcoming Events

Count Birds

There’s more to looking at and identifying birds. How about counting them? And what are they doing? Two favorite activities of birders are census taking and breeding surveys. As you may know, many bird species are in serious decline while others are stable or even increasing. One way of tracking the changing populations is to send teams to the field to survey the population. While ornithologists often do very detailed monitoring of, say nesting behavior of a particular species, they usually can’t afford the time to do this for many species and in many locations. That’s where you and MOS can help.

Birding Festivals

Birding Checklists

It helps to have list of local birds you can hope to see when you go birding. You can obtain lists from several sources. A list of all Birds of Maryland, compiled by MOS, is available online in the form of a checklist, and may be downloaded and printed on your personal computer. It was designed to be printed two-sided on 8.5″ X 11″ paper, flipping on the short edge.

For the More Serious Birder

Are you a serious birder?

This isn’t a well-defined term but we can describe a few characteristics of one. Serious birding behavior can range widely:

  • Compiles a list of birds they’ve seen in Maryland by yard and county and by year.
  • Subscribes to various listservs to get the latest on unusual sightings. One example is to have eBird report rarities to your smartphone or birds you’re missing from your county list.
  • Quickly drops what they’re doing and drives long distance to see an unusual species.

Find a Local Chapter

Click on the area where you live or work to find the nearest MOS chapter and membership information.