Birds are fascinating creatures and any interaction with them can be very entertaining, even if it is just watching them. Backyard birding is a hobby that almost anyone can have – as long as they show a desire for it. All you need is a yard, and no matter its size, birds will be coming and going, so it will be entirely up to you whether you will engage with them – and how much. And with a little bit of effort, even a small balcony can be made bird-friendly. That way you will get opportunities to look at these lovely creatures from a close range, and even to take pictures or videos. The key to it is to meet their basic needs for food, water, and shelter, as well as provide places where they can stop by and rest, but since that is not all, we will mention a few additional ways below. You can visit wildbirdworld.com for more resources and tips. This is a laid-back hobby that will reduce your stress and make you much more aware of the living world that surrounds us.
Read helpful books
Informing yourself about the most common caves in the area where you live will let you know what you can expect to see and at what time of the year. Reading a little bit about them will lead you to understand their behaviors and more specific needs, and looking at pictures will train your eye and help you to identify them more easily when they come over for a visit.
Fill up a birdbath
Birdbaths are a great place where the birds can gather together, hang out, mingle, and also clean themselves. There are even heated bird bath fountains that can offer pleasant baths even during the colder months. The baths should be rather shallow, no more than 2 inches in the middle – the deepest part – and you can fill it up with small rocks that will mimic a more natural environment and decrease the depth of the water basin. Putting a fountain pump, like a solar one, will make them even more likely to take baths there.
Also, depending on the type of birds that you wish to attract, there are different colors that you can pick so that they will draw the ones you would like to see and have around. If you decide to make one, you can use various objects that you probably already have around your home; stiff like clay pots, porcelain dishes, pipes, stones, garden hoses, and of course – some tools to put all of that together. In addition, it is recommended that the water is often changed and the baths are regularly cleaned, especially when green algae cover the walls or the rocks in it.
Set up bird feeders
Bird feeders (or seeders) are another thing that you can either buy or make yourself as a DIY project. Depending on which kind of feathered friends you are interested in seeing in your garden, you will wisely choose the shape of the feeder and the kind of food you will put in it. Sunflower kernels, thistle, peanuts, millet, corn, fruit, and even worms are ones that you can easily find and will make a delicious treat for many species. Needless to say, for hummingbirds, you will need feeders filled with nectar (which is basically sugar syrup) that must be frequently washed. Be mindful to put the feeders in the shade and to find a way to keep food-stealing squirrels and random insects away from them.
Plant trees and bushes
Having a bird-friendly landscape will provide a safe environment where they can spend a little time resting, will definitely help you to attract more of them, and make them stay for a while so that you can enjoy the view for a longer time. Do some research about the local vegetation and find out which varieties of trees are native to your location. That way, the climate, and the soil will be appropriate for their growth and they will be preferred and more easily recognized by the birds. The trees should be in a variety of heights, shapes, and thickness of the branches and leaves. There are three basic types of trees: deciduous, coniferous, and fruit trees, and they will all offer different benefits during the changing seasons.
Trees are essential to the birds as they offer shelter and protection from predators, provide food – sap, nuts, insects, fruits – and water, which accumulates on the leaves. Also, they are a perfect nesting site, and nests can be found in the cavity of the tree, as well as on some of its branches. By planting the right trees you will ensure a lasting source of these essentials and that will guarantee that many caves from diverse species will visit you in the years to come. You might even get some shade for your house and garden, and the backyard flock will keep pests like caterpillars away from the trees which will help them thrive even more.
By setting up roosting boxes, birdhouses, and nesting shelves, you will encourage the birds to spend more time in your back yard. This is especially true for the cold months of the year. This will protect them from the strong sun in the summer, and the bad weather conditions, as the fall and winter months usually bring rain, snow, wind, and even storms.
If you want to get a better look at your backyard guests, you might need some gear, like a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope. Birds can be easily scared by the presence of humans, so most of the time, a proper distance will be warranted. Having a good set of binoculars will enable you to follow these lovely creatures and enjoy their beauty and their company from afar, without spooking them. Spotting scopes are even more powerful than binoculars, as they offer better zoom, with more focus and clarity.