Many folk find backyard bird watching is a great way to get introduced to the activity. It is an inexpensive way to begin learning to identify species. The birds you observe in the backyard can also provide valuable experience in note keeping, as you track the birds that come and go. Regardless of your experience level, setting up a backyard theatre for observation can be a rewarding experience.
You will want to do some research on what types of feeders are best for the birds you are hoping to attract. Several styles meet the needs of many species. Some birds, however, require a specific type of feeder. You may find it best to construct your backyard bird watching area in a way that allows you to utilise several different feeders. Make sure you research how far away from each other the feeders should be.
Another decision you’ll have to make as you are beginning your hobby of backyard bird watching, is what to feed them. There is a wide range of feed available. Just like the feeders, the food you select should depend in large part on what type of birds you are hoping to attract and where you live.
Some of the more common types of bird feed are sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and thistle. Often found in a mix, pour this type of seed into a hopper type feeder to meet the needs of several different species at one backyard bird watching station. If you hope to attract some of the more fickle species, like bluebirds, then you will need to do some research on what type of fruit or nuts make up the diet of the particular bluebirds in your area.
When you are setting up your area for backyard bird watching, you should ensure you have good view of the feeders from the area you anticipate using for observation. If you have any low hanging branches that may block your view, cut them away before you begin your project. If you wait until you already have a contingent of hungry customers to do so, the sudden change in environment may disrupt the feeding and behaviour patterns they have established.
Now you are ready to begin your observations, you will find you need some kind of magnifying device in order to see the birds better. A basic pair of binoculars is usually sufficient for beginners, though you may find it better to mount a spotting scope near a bird watching picture window in your home. These optical devices will greatly increase your ability to identify birds and to get to them by their distinct markings and behaviours.
Once you have your feeder all set up, sit back and relax. Once you begin feeding your backyard birds, they will return again and again. Happy Birding!
Courtesy of John Edmond