Birdwatching: Your lifetime ticket to the theater of nature

A few techniques for enjoying the fun of birding. Most are things you can do in your own back yard. Here are a few seasonal tips for attracting the locals.

Spring

Learn to see through the leaves and around buildings, to hidden birds by brushing up on the local bird songs and calls.

Summertime

Sometimes fresh, clean water is all it takes to make a bird’s day. Water will attract all kinds of birds, including those who don’t usually come to feeders. Like bluebirds, flycatchers, and even hummingbirds.

Some of the best birding in summer is from a boat. Birds sing and are active along the river even when summer doldrums have made some birders hang up their binoculars.

Fall

Wild birds scout out their winter food sources in fall, and that means they are deciding which backyards they will grace with their presence in winter.  As birdwatchers we can help to put habitat back. One way is to construct a brush pile.

Winter

One of the chief pleasures of winter is to be inside a warm house and look out at the wild birds at the feeder. You get terrific entertainment all winter long.

If you want to see scads of birds you can invite the birds to come up close to your window with a variety of birdfeeders and seed dispensers.

Birds need water, even in winter. Especially when ponds and streams are frozen. That’s an opportunity for birdwatchers to attract birds to the backyard.

Plans begin in winter, when the seed catalogs arrive in your mailbox, to plant a garden whose blossoms will invite birds of all kinds into your yard come spring.

 

Like gardening, bird watching is a fast-growing regional hobby. Local groups can give you more tips and are usually easy to find in the white pages. Your best bet for finding other enthusiasts may be the local hardware or pet supply store.