Choose between porro prisms or roof prisms. Most serious birders use top range roof prisms, such as the Swarovski EL, Leica Ultravid or Zeiss Victory FL range; the top of the range models use this design as it is more compact and more comfortable to use. Inexpensive binoculars are generally porro prism; inexpensive roof prisms especially those without phase coating are generally to be avoided.
Also take into consideration the binocular strap. When you go into the field, you will be wearing a dead weight on your neck for hours at a time, so make sure the strap is wide and comfortable. Some birders use a harness that distributes weight to the shoulders and back instead of to the neck. Calibrate your binoculars before you go birding.
If you cant go to the birds, bring the birds to you. Putting up bird feeders and keeping them filled with fresh bird food is an effective way to attract birds to your own yard. Do some reading to determine which type of feeds will attract any birds you are particularly interested in observing. Sunflower seeds will attract quite a few varieties and might be nice to start with. You can also install a bird fountain. Most things that can hold shallow water will do! Running or dripping water especially interests birds.
Dress appropriately, as you would for hiking. Colours that blend in to the surrounding landscape will help to stop birds from avoiding your presence. Proceed quietly. Loud talking or laughing can cause birds to flee before you even get close. Putting your phone on vibrate also helps.
If you have time, and if youre interested in having a visual record, take a picture of the bird. This can be difficult when youre starting out, especially since youll need to use a camera on a tripod in conjunction with a telescope or binoculars a practice known as digiscoping to get the shot.
To find more and different birds, you may wish to plan trips to different habitats: forests, mudflats, lakes, rivers, fields/meadows. Eventually, you may wish to plan travel even further to places which will host birds you are not likely to see near your home.