Regardless of where you live, you can start birding in your backyard. Just begin by putting a variety of food outside your door. This will attract a variety of birds. Soon you will have more birds than you envisioned.
Bird lovers who are unable to go on bird watching trips can easily create their own reserve by backyard birding. If you’re fortunate enough to have the space, then setting up your backyard to invite birds is a cinch.
Bird feeding in your backyard is a benefit not only for birds. Another advantage of feeding and watching birds in your backyard is that it allows families to spend time together in a pastime which is fun as well as educational.
Read books and watch videos, listen to CDs any kind of information on birds. This way you’ll be able to find out which birds are in your area and you’ll learn how you can attract them. In addition, after a while you’ll be able to identify them. Then you can decide which types of birds you’d like to have for your backyard bird watching.
Now it’s time to set up your feeder; the real work begins. (Of course, if you’re a bird lover you’ll consider this a labor of love). There are many types of feeders to accommodate specific types of birds and their diets. So do your homework before making your selection.
A word of caution: Windows can be deadly for birds. So for their safety and protection, place the feeder within three feet of the window. Or hang lightweight, shiny mobiles in front of the window.
After deciding on the feeder, you’ll need to figure out what kind of seeds to get. Certain birds like particular kinds of seeds so be selective when choosing seeds. Most, however, like sunflower seeds. You can get this information by doing your research or you can use trial and error. If you plan to use more than one type of seed to attract a variety of birds, it’s best to use separate feeders. And if you begin to attract too many birds, then dispense less food.
Backyard birding can be fun and entertaining as long as you remember that to keep your guests coming you have to provide lots of food, water and shelter.
Bird Watching by Ear
Just what does it mean–birding by ear? How can you watch birds by ear? It’s like saying you can hear birds with your eyes. Well, you can—almost. Especially if you’re already familiar with what the particular bird looks like. Many birding experts and enthusiasts already have this talent. It’s simply the ability to recognize birds by their calls and their songs and sounds.
It’s a learned art, though. Learning birdsongs is the basis of birding by ear. You can learn to see more birds with your ears by taking the time to listen to the sounds and songs of birds. But take your time. Don’t try to learn too many at once.
No two species of birds sound alike. Each species has a song of its own, its own unique sound, even within its specie. And if you listen to their bird songs closely enough, over a period of time you’ll be able to recognize each one. Eventually, you won’t even need to see the bird to know which one was singing.
Identifying birdsongs can be accomplished using phonetics, which uses sound units to mimic the birds. You can find these in many bird field guides. And there are bird guides that publish bird song collections.
You can buy birdsong CDs that not only teaches the techniques for learning birdsongs but also provide a catalog of sample songs. They will help you learn and remember songs and sounds of birds.
Audio CDs and cassette recordings that teach popular bird songs are readily available. These recordings introduce listeners to methods of learning and remembering bird songs. One expert suggests that to help you remember you should think of a word or phrase that fits the song in rhythm and associate that with it. For example, some birders say that the finch’s song sounds like “per-chick-o-ree.”
You could also record those beautiful sounds of birds yourself. Get some recording equipment. Go birding; capture and make your own soundtracks and load them on your computer. Using software that can turn recordings into pictures, you’d be amazed at how you can create a very enjoyable pastime learning birdsongs.
With your newfound skill, bird watching doesn’t have to be limited to a daytime event for you. Simply enjoy the wonderful experience of birding by ear.