If you are like me, there are numerous places that you like to frequent for birding. Almost all refuges, parks, nature centers and wildlife areas have maps these days. They are very helpful, displaying parking, trails, ponds/dikes, access points, off-limit areas, even restroom facilities.
No doubt you’ve printed a few. Anytime I bird a new spot, I check to see if there’s a map available, and I print out a copy. one thing that I’ve learned, early on, is to save these maps for future use. So I created my very own ‘Map Book.’
It’s a very simple book, consisting of a three-ring binder, plastic protective pages, and all of the maps and diagrams you would possibly desire. Anytime you wish to bird a particular hotspot, all you need to do is to remove that page from the book, and you’re set. you can even modify pages to show specific spots on the map where birds are likely, or other personal notes for your use.
I find it helpful to keep them organized by general region, for example Magee marsh with Ottawa NWR, or Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area with Funk Bottoms and Killbuck Marsh. It all depends on your personal preference.
Once I’ve put the Map Book together, I keep it in my car in the trunk, along with other birding essentials, which we’ll explore here over time.
Put together your own Map Book, it’s a great help and will assist you with remembering where all those great birds are! Plus, you’re not wasting paper in the process!