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Everything You Need to Start Birding, According to ‘Extraordinary Birder’ Host Christian Cooper

Christian Cooper wants you to know that you could go birding right now—this very moment—no matter who you are, where you are, or what stuff you do or don’t own.

“The most important thing—and really the only thing—you must have as a birder is yourself and your awareness,” says Cooper. “You don’t even have to step outside your front door; you can do it from a window. You don’t even need, say, eyesight, because there are people who bird blind using their ears.”

Cooper’s big-hearted zeal for birding makes him a natural fit to host National Geographic Wild’s new docuseries Extraordinary Birder With Christian Cooper (video), which is also available to stream on Disney+ and Hulu. But when it comes to essential birding equipment, he’s more pragmatic and minimalist.

“There are certain tools that you’re going to want to enhance the experience,” he says—although he insists the list is short. Below, Cooper runs us through the must-haves that accompany him on all of his birding expeditions.

Find the full article by Rose Maura Lorre here.

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September 27, 2023

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Rose Maura Lorre

Rose Maura Lorre is a senior staff writer on the discovery team at Wirecutter. Her byline has appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Salon, Business Insider, HGTV Magazine, and many more. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, and lots and lots of houseplants.

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