There are 48 million birders in the US, according to the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS). And 88% of these birders are backyard birders like you. Those numbers are not surprising when you think about all the great reasons to enjoy bird watching. Birds are beautiful, colorful, and interesting. It’s a fun hobby and sometimes challenging to identify the right species of birds. It’s inexpensive and a great family or group activity. It’s relaxing to sit back and watch birds in nature. There are many reasons that millions of people enjoy this great hobby. If you are considering bird watching in your own backyard, here are some tips to get you started.
1) Offer a variety of seed and feeders to attract a variety of birds. Birds have different feeding preferences and different species prefer different feeders. Open feeders with trays and perches will attract a great variey of birds but this should be combined with other feeders to attract the most birds- such as a suet feeder for woodpeckers and nectar feeders for hummingbirds.
2) Bird feeders should be placed out of the wind near a row of trees. Ideally you should hang your feeder near a tree or bush so that the birds can perch and have cover while eating yet can still watch for danger. Hang your bird feeders 10-12 feet from shrubs or brush piles so that the birds have time to react to a predator like a cat. For the ground feeding birds, you can also use a platform or hopper feeder but we suggest keeping it near an area of cover with a clear view of the surroundings.
3) And it’s important to feed the birds year round and keep your feeders full because feeders that are consistently empty won’t attract many birds.
4) And remember to clean your bird feeder. They can get soiled and dirty easily, especially if more and more birds find your feeders for a food source. Simply clean your feeder with hot water and then dry it.
5) Fresh water attract birds so consider placing a pan of water near the feeder or use a bird bath.
For more tips and advice, visit our Bird Department and one of our knowledgeable asosciates would be happy to help.