When it comes to popular outdoor hobbies, birdwatching is right up there with some of the most popular activities. Where it used to be that birdwatching was associated with retirees looking for something to do, today it is appealing to a much broader group, including millennials who see it as the new “must-have hobby” in their life. One of the great things about birdwatching is that anyone can do it regardless of age or health. There is no need to invest in expensive equipment and it doesn’t have to be a huge commitment in your life.
For those looking to take up backyard bird watching, there are some tips you can use that will help make the hobby more enjoyable and successful for you.
Start to Learn About the Species in Your Area
A good place to start is by doing some research on the birds in your area. There is plenty of free information online and apps you can download, or you can purchase birdwatching books that provide you with pictures and details on the various species. By learning about which birds are in your area, you’ll also be aware of what to look for.
Create a Bird Feeding Station
In order to start birdwatching in your backyard, you need to actually attract them to your yard. If you don’t have large mature trees and foliage, then they may not be natural visitors. Regardless of your surroundings, setting up a bird feeding station is sure to draw attention.
Again, this is where research will be necessary. You need to learn what the local birds eat in order to determine the type of bird feeder you need, and the seed/feed to buy. Birds can be somewhat shy, so it’s also a good idea to place the feeders in an area that has a bit of cover or shelter so that they feel safe.
Give Them a Bird Bath to Use
Just as important as the feeding station is a bird bath. This can attract all different species of birds that are looking for a little drink, or a chance to cool off. Just make sure that the water is changed daily so it is always fresh for them.
Give Nesting Birds Space
As you start to attract more birds to your yard and home, then you may find they like the area well enough to nest there. How to deal with nesting birds is a common question with homeowners and the short answer is to give them space and let them be. Birds mean you no harm, they are just looking for a safe place to nest. It is actually illegal to disturb birds that are nesting or to get rid of a nest that still contains chicks that haven’t yet matured.
Invest in Some Binoculars
The final tip has to do with the only equipment you need to be a bird watcher, and that’s investing in a pair of decent binoculars. Having binoculars handy will allow you to get that close up view of the various species without spooking them or scaring them off.
By using these tips you’ll be well on your way to becoming a professional birdwatcher right in your very own garden.