Backyard Bird Watching: Attracting Birds With Food and Water


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For the avid backyard birding enthusiast, there are a few things that must be remembered at all times; don’t wear bright colors, don’t make any noise, and birds, like any creature, like food. If you feed them they will likely come closer to you than if you just sit in a bush quietly waiting for one to appear. As an added perk, the placement of a birdfeeder in your backyard might keep your neighbor’s from asking you why you’re sitting in a bush peering into the sky for hours at a time.

Having that bird feeder is a great addition to any backyard but it also makes it that much easier to get a peek at your quarry. What will you feed them though to keep different species flying through all times of the year? There are many options, but the most important thing to remember is to keep it varied. If you feed the same thing every day, all year, you’ll only attract a few birds at certain times of the year. A little variation will allow you to discover and watch a few different species.

Head to your local nursery, gardening center, or bird-feeding specialty shop for as many options as possible for feeding birds. Clerks there should be able to help you find exactly what you’re looking for to attract a specific species. Keep in mind though that no matter what kind of food you put out and how time sensitive its presence is, it does you no good if your food goes to other creatures, or worse yet can’t be found.

Place a few different feeders throughout your backyard, making the food as accessible as possible without attracting an entire flock of the hungry little guys. You’ll want to try and make the feeders as squirrel proof as possible Other small woodland creatures will sniff out and find your feeders a perfect source for their own daily nutrition if you don’t curb it right away. You can buy a specifically squirrel-proof feeder at most bird-feeding stores.

And last but not least, don’t forget the importance of water. Like any animal, the bird will be thirsty and while the summer time offers plenty of options in hoses and sprinkler systems, the fall through the early spring are dry months for a traveling bird. If you offer a bird bath or two and a renewable source of water alongside your food, you’ll have more birds than you’ll know what to do with, and that snoopy neighbor won’t be forced to come over and berate you out of the bushes

Anthony Chatfield provides information on birdwatching for For the Birds , where you can find information on birding binoculars as well as tips on creating a bird haven in your own yard.


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