Guide to Bird Watching

An Easy, Sustainable PasstimeBirdwatching is an inexpensive, rewarding hobby and, next to gardening, the fastest growing hobby in America. With the increased canada goose outlet toronto factory interest in the ecological movement, bird watching is a pass time that gets you in tune with nature and into the great outdoors.

You don’t even have to leave your home to enjoy birds, but can learn how to attract them to your backyard. My husband, an avid bird watcher, keeps a list of the birds he has seen in various places we have visited. His list canada goose outlet sale for our yard includes 78 different types of birds!

Bird watching hones your observational skills and offers the opportunity to learn about these beautiful, fascinating creatures. canada goose outlet canada With the help of a pair of binoculars and canada goose outlet store a bird identification books, you can quickly learn all about birds, their habitats, and the areas to visit if you want to see canada goose outlet shop particular types of birds.

Bird watching is also an excellent activity for the home school set. Children learn lessons about ornithology, biology, and the environment. You can incorporate bird watching activities in art projects and for physical education as you take long hikes into natural areas to look for birds in interesting habitats.

Several months ago, standing on a bridge by a lake, I witnessed the flight of a Golden Eagle whose 90″ wingspan and reputation as a fairly rare bird canada goose uk black friday in my area, was a huge thrill. As I glanced along the bridge, busy with families and fishermen, no one seemed to notice the incredible sight. Because they weren’t looking.

Our culture often portrays bird watchers or ‘birders’ as a bunch of nerds with social anxiety problems. Actually, birding is best with a small group or a partner. You can share information as well as the pleasure of glimpsing a truly fabulous sight. Another person can confirm a sighting. If you’re not sure what you are looking at, a partner may have more experience or a better view.

Bird watching can even be cheap canada goose a competitive sport! The World Series of Bird official canada goose outlet Watching takes place in New Jersey in spring. There, ornithologists and amateur birders compete to see who canada goose outlet in usa can spot the greatest number of species.

Most areas of the country have bird clubs and groups that host lectures, slide canada goose outlet black friday shows, and bird walks that can be educational and fun. Online groups post interesting sightings in your area if you have a hankering to see a regionally rare bird. The online groups also post information on migratory trends, localized eruptions, and photographs of birds posted by canada goose black friday sale members.

Bird Watching and the Environmental Movement

In 1962 Rachael Carson published her famous book, Silent Spring, which described declining populations of American birds due to the use Canada Goose Jackets of chemicals and pesticides.

DDT was found to cause a softening canada goose factory sale of the eggshells of certain large predatory birds such as the Bald Eagle and Osprey. People were shocked to think that our overuse of such poisons could cause an end to America’s national symbol, the Bald Eagle. Interest in the environmental movement increased dramatically and the public cheap Canada Goose outcry led to the ban of DDT.

As a child, I only saw Bald Eagles on TV. I’d always dreamed of seeing that noble creature, rare due to the use of DDT. Now, I can hop in the car and take you to a spot with a guaranteed eagle sighting.

Environmental trends can be studied thought bird watching. Changes in local populations and migratory canada goose outlet uk habits reflect environmental conditions and changes. In the 1980’s, people began to notice Brown Pelicans along the Maryland and goose outlet canada Northern Virginia Atlantic beaches. Previously, Brown Pelicans lived much further south and the 1980s sightings were seen as oddities. Now, the Brown Pelican is an established species, a cheap canada goose beautiful sight as they glide low over the ocean.

Right in Your Own Backyard

You don’t have to be an adventurer to take up bird watching. Backyard birding can present a fabulous array of birds. Even urban areas have their share of birds to watch. Peregrine falcons (dramatically beautiful creatures) have taken up residence in cities all over the country. I saw one of the wildest looking ducks, a wood duck, in Central Park, New York Park City after years of hanging around rivers, bays, and tidewater areas.

Improving your yard as a bird friendly habitat can enhance backyard bird watching. Plant trees of several types and sizes. Evergreens provide food and shelter in winter months. Shrubbery and flowering plants can be chosen with particular birds in mind.

Always plant native species as your area birds will be looking for traditional native plants that provide their dietary needs. Keep the feeders full and buy canada goose jacket clean them out periodically to prevent diseases and mildew.

Unless you are looking for a hawk feeder, set the feeder up in a sheltered location. Make sure the canada goose outlet store uk feeder is high enough to thwart cats. Squirrels Canada Goose Online can devour tons of birdseed. Purchase a spring loaded feeder. The weight of the squirrel automatically closes the device. Squirrels get the message soon enough and move on.

Do not buy the cheap mixed bags of seed that contain a large amount of red millet that birds won’t even eat. Avoid safflower seeds that attract pesky birds like starling and grackles. Black sunflower seeds are a favorite at feeders. Cheaper than the striped kind, black sunflower seeds are high in fat content and have softer shells than the striped kind. Black sunflower seeds attract cardinals, goldfinch, purple finch, sparrows, nuthatches, chickadees, woodpecker and titmice. Thistle or Niger seeds are tiny black seeds used in a special thistle feeder. They are a bit expensive but the chickadees and goldfinch will love you for it. In winter, suet is a nice addition to your bird feeding station. You can purchase a suet feeder for about $5.00 and use commercially made suet or make your own. Recipe: Melt lard. Stir in peanut butter, sugar, seeds, nuts, and fruit. Pour into a mold (a plastic food container) with a string or wire inserted. After the mixture sets, hang by the string or wire. Nectar attracts hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are amazing little things you may not notice unless you are looking. Seen out of the corner of your eye, a hummingbird can be mistaken for a large insect. Bright colored flowers, particularly red flowers are popular with hummingbirds. You can purchase a hummingbird feeder and fill it with a commercially made mix or prepare your own with sugar, water, and red Kool Aid. provided by a birdbath, pond, or fountain provides hydration so difficult for birds to find in urban and suburban neighborhoods. The birds will enjoy a bath as well while you enjoy viewing their antics in the water. It’s obvious they’re having a grand time.

Your water feature needs to be shallow or at least have a shallow end to accommodate smaller birds. If your birdbath is too deep set rocks in the water. A drip or fountain is nice as the sound of splashing water attracts birds.

If you have a pond, make sure there is a shallow end or conveniently placed rock. Backyard ponds have become so popular that Great Blue Herons often cruise neighborhood yards looking for uk canada goose outlet frogs or fish. If you’ve seen a Great Blue Heron in the neighborhood, you might want to stock the pond with inexpensive goldfish instead of koi.

You can also use a shallow dish as a birdbath. Set it on rocks or bricks to gain some elevation. Set the birdbath away from shrubs where predators can hide. Don’t set the birdbath directly beneath the feeder, you want to avoid debris as well as fecal matter.

Change the water often, every day in hot weather to avoid mosquitoes. Clean the birdbath occasionally with a scrub brush.

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