Are you into birdwatching? Do you know how to watch birds? Perhaps you are already attuned to the outdoor world, or maybe you’re among the many newcomers who’d like to start enjoying Nature but aren’t exactly sure how to get going. This article will attempt to help both seasoned nature lovers and neophytes learn what they can do for themselves and what the area’s resources are for them.
Birdwatching is one of the best ways to get familiar with wildlife, and you can start learning how to watch birds right in your own yard. Even the newest of areas carved out of former cornfields have some birds in them, but the more plantings you have around, the greater your variety of bird life will be.
Before we discuss the types of shrubs and trees that attract birds, we’ll encourage you to place feeders in your yard so that you can bring the birds to places that will increase your watching pleasure. There’s nothing like being “up close and personal” with birds to add to your enjoyment of them.
Feeders come in such a variety that there is surely one to fit your requirements. If you have trees up close to a window, you can hang tube feeders in them; otherwise, you can use pole-mounted hopper feeders. If you have an already established yard with flowers and large trees, you can also place hummingbird feeders around.
A side benefit to establishing feeders for the birds is that you will also attract squirrels. You decide for yourself whether you want them sharing the birds’ feeders or whether you want to take advantage of the specially formulated “backyard” squirrel food that complements complete lines of squirrel feeders and squirrel toys.
To enjoy birdwatching to the fullest, you first need to get familiar with the various families of birds, noticing the main differences of behavior among them. To make your bird watching easier, you will need a pair of binoculars. The most useful sizes are 7×35 or 8×35, the first number referring to the amount of magnification, the second to the wideness of the viewing range.
Now, lets tackle the subject of planting your yard to attract birds for watching. Many kinds of plants will provide both fruit and insects as food, while furnishing cover for small, shy species and convenient places to build nests and rear young.
Seed-bearing plants such as flowering annuals and ground covers are excellent seed sources for groundloving birds, while conifers, maples and birchers are among the seed-bearing trees that will lure several species of birds to your yard.
Fruitbearing plants including blueberry, mulberry, elderberry, and cotoneaster attract berry eaters such as cardinals and robins.
When deciding what to plant, encourage those that are both decorative and useful for attracting birds. Mountain-ash, flowering dogwood, flowering crab, American holly and winterberry are a few of the many choices that are pleasing to both people and birds.
Amelanchiers, members of the rose family, are native trees and shrubs that should find a place in most home landscapes. Oaks are number one in providing wildlife food value. Oaks greatest value are in the critical winter season when other foods are scarce. Wood ducks, bobwhite quail, blue jays, nuthatches, brown thrashers, and tufted titmice are just a few of the birds that depend on acorns for sustenance, and there a lot of mammals that also delight in the nutty fruit of the oak.
Other trees and shrubs to consider are native cherries, Washington thorn, Japanese barberry, winterberry or black alder, Tartarian honeysuckle, and various viburnums.
Planting tubular flowers like bee balm, trumpet vine, scarlet morning glory, columbine, cardinal flower, turk’s cap lily, coral bells and scarlet sage will help bring in hummingbirds.
Once you have started to watch birds in your yard, you will probably want to share your interest with others, and the more you learn about birdwatching the more you will want to learn. Fortunately, there are many resources that will allow you to do both.