Are you curious about birds and their behavior? It’s fun to learn about the birds you see, and how to best feed and protect them. Here are some fun ways to get started bird watching (also called birding) to help you become a birder!
Birds can be easier to hear than they are to see, so you may want to start by just closing your eyes and listening to all the different bird songs.
Next, watch the birds in your yard. You will need to sit very still and keep a distance, so you don’t accidentally frighten them away. Using binoculars or a spotting scope can help you look more closely at birds without getting too close.
Attract more birds to your yard by putting up a bird feeder. You can then observe the many varieties of birds as they come in for a snack. Try putting it in a location that allows you to see them from a window if possible, so that even in bad weather, you can keep an eye on your feathered friends! Hummingbirds are a great species to observe, you can attract them with a special feeder that holds nectar syrup.
Having a bird book on hand will be helpful in identifying types of birds. You can find these at your local library. Try drawing or painting the birds you see. You can start a birding journal that will allow you to make notes about what you see, as well as capture your drawings. Make note of what kinds of birdseed the different types of birds seem to enjoy. Do they eat directly from the feeder, or do they prefer snacking on the seed that has fallen to the ground?
Look for more varieties by heading out into your local community- visit a park or natural area. It helps if there is a water source nearby. In fact, adding a birdbath to your yard will also attract more birds, and watching birds in a birdbath is very entertaining!
Continue to record your observations in your birding journal. Where did you see certain birds? What time of year did you observe them? Have you noticed that certain types are more or less plentiful at certain times? This may indicate a migratory pattern. Over time, you will create a record of when certain birds are in your area, allowing you to welcome them with their preferred food. As you learn more, you may try attracting different varieties of birds. Find out what kind of food they prefer to eat.
The very best thing about bird watching is how it gets us out exploring. When you travel to a new place, take some time for a morning walk, and see what bird species you encounter in a new area!