Bird Watching for Beginners

September 15, 2008 by  
Filed under Gardening

Birds
Bird watching is when someone takes the time to actively watch birds, and is often referred to as “birding”. It is a much loved pass time and hobby for a good number of people, and according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service there are over 51.3 million bird watchers, (or “birders”,) in America alone – a number which is on the rise. Birding gives a person a chance to spend some time outdoors and appreciate nature while admiring different birds. Bird watching lets you not only look at birds but also listen to them, often times you will find that you hear the bird long before you actually see it. It is a great pass time for anybody who really enjoys a challenge, but also likes to relax while engaging in their hobby. Relaxing and experiencing a challenge might sound like they don’t fit together, but consider crossword puzzles or chess, and you might start to understand the appeal of birding.

There are a few tools that you will need as a beginner birder. The first thing is definitely a very good book on the subject, or a few if you have the desire to read up on the subject. Choose one in which you can easily find what bird you are looking for, as it will help you identify birds as you spot them. There are plenty of great reference books to pick from, so pick the one that appeals most to you. (Your local bookstore owner will be able to help you with this task.) Next you need to get a few pens and a blank notebook – this way you can keep a journal, which is the best way to keep notes on which birds you have seen, where you saw them, as well as some details on their behaviors. After that you will want to invest in a good pair of binoculars; keep in mind that you get what you pay for, so you shouldn’t be cheap in this department if you are serious about bird watching. The majority of birders use either a seven or an 8 power magnification, along with a 32 to 42 objective lens. These numbers read as 8 x 32, and will suit you perfectly. If you wear glasses you should consider looking for binoculars with a long eye relief, as these provide the best view. There are plenty of other things you can invest in, but these tools will give you all you need to get going with bird watching right away.

Now that you have got your equipment and are ready to start birding, you will need to know how to go about it. The best spot is probably your very own garden! This way you can learn how to use your new book to quickly look up different birds, as well as what you should be taking notes on and how to use your binoculars effectively. Plus, your yard is sure to attract plenty of different species of birds, many of which will be just as beautiful and interesting as those you will see later on out in the wild. Be sure to consider the time of day and the season, as this information can prove invaluable when understand what species of bird you should be looking for in the future.

Once you are familiar with your equipment and have taken the time to practice a little bit in your own backyard, you will be ready to spread your wings, so to speak! There are many opportunities both alone or in organized groups if you would prefer to join one of those. There are plenty of resources available to you regarding these groups, as well as trips, holidays and different kinds of birds available to you, both online and off. Your local Audubon Society is the best place to start, as well as checking out any bird watching magazines at a nearby library.

Bird watching can be a fantastic and fun pass time for anybody who is a fan of our feathered friends; be it by yourself in your own garden or with friends on holiday, there is always time for a little birding; so enjoy it!

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Designing A Bird House

June 7, 2008 by  
Filed under Gardening

Garden bird house
Image by Vilseskogen via Flickr
A growing number of bird lovers are not only enjoying the fun of bird watching, which is generally done from a distance, but also expanding on their hobby by designing and then building their own bird houses to draw feathered friends right into their own backyards. When you are designing your own bird house it does not have to be a very expensive process, and if you like woodworking and DIY projects then it can be a really fun activity for a free weekend or a day off – plus you can get your kids involved when it comes to decorating!

There are a number of pre made kits which are perfect if you are a new bird house builder to help you get started, but if you are used to DIY projects then you can always create your own from scratch. This requires a bit of pre planning and creating a design that you can follow, then all you need to do is purchase the materials you need and put them together. Luckily most hardware stores will have everything you need, and it is a good chance to use your power tools.

If you need some inspiration for your new project, there are countless websites that you can take a look at that will suggest some good ideas as well as offer tips on the design process and construction. There are also several books and magazines available on the subject, with some focussing on specific species of birds such as swallows or titmice; these often suggest on incorporating a pre made nesting box into your bird house.

It is very important when building a bird house to take into account which type of bird you are building it for. The design will depend on a number of different factors, including the size of the bird, how they tend to nest and whether the prefer to do so in groups like sparrows. You must also ensure that your bird house is not only weather proof but also safe from any potential predators, as birds need to feel safe before they are willing to set up a nest – a small hole just big enough for the birds, (but not anything else,) to get in and out is ideal. You will also need to see to it that your house is high enough up to not be disturbed by pets such as dogs or cats, and is not in direct sunlight. (This is very bad for the birds and their young.)

Most birds will prefer a bird house that feels like a hole in a tree; so you want your bird house to feel safe and be comfortable and warm, as well as free of dust and dampness – and of course safe from any potential predators. Using natural materials will help your feathered friends feel at home, so try to find some coconut fibers, plenty of twigs and dry grass, as this will encourage breeding. Weather proofing your house is also a good idea, just be sure that your water proof paint is non toxic and safe for birds – you also wont want any loose bits on your house as they can come off during storms or strong winds.

When you set about building your bird house you will find that it can be great fun to involve your friends or family, both young and old. Consider signing up for some online forums to talk with other bird enthusiasts and share your ideas – they will be able to offer you valuable tips and advice. You will find making your own bird house very rewarding, especially once you find a pair of birds have chosen it for their nest.

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Basking In The Backyard Heat with Gazebo Bird Feeders

March 18, 2008 by  
Filed under Gardening

Summer is everybody’s favorite time of year, second only to Christmas! It brings about visions of backyard barbecues, cold drinks, swimming, camping and water fights to keep cool. It is also the perfect time to relax with friends and family while you admire all of the birds in your yard, attracted by your feeders.

For a long time only hobbyists were using bird feeders, however they are now on every nature lover and bird enthusiasts list of interests; another reason why setting one up in your own backyard can be a truly thrilling experience. It is also sure to excite your friends and family, as bird watching is a great activity for people from all age groups.

The whole bird feeder “fad” is not only based on the standard creation of feeders, but also on the different styles, functions and services of the devices – this is why today you can find plenty of different varieties of bird feeders in a number of attractive styles.

The structure of your bird feeder is very important so make sure to keep that in mind before you start as it will effect the over all quality of your feeder as well as what kind of seeds you use with it.

A lot has been written about the various kinds of bird feeding, but there are still plenty of areas where information is sorely lacking. What many people fail to realize is that bird feeding has a lot to do with what style of bird feeder you are using as well as the kind of seed.

If you choose to use a very festive and creative bird feeder in your backyard you are not only creating an attractive edition to your property, but you will also lure many different species of bird, which in themselves will be adding a very attractive feature to your home.

For those of you who enjoy bird watching, utilizing a bird feeder in your own yard will bring great joy, as it will greatly increase the number of feathered friends to visit you. If you are lucky enough to have, or be able to build, a gazebo bird feeder, then the number of birds you see in your yard will amaze you.

Bird feeders come in a number of different styles, but one of the most good looking remains the gazebo bird feeder; it is without a doubt one of the most popular designs.

A lot like regular gazebos, these bird feeders are especially designed to accommodate for various kinds of seed and other bird feeds. With the pretty coloring, gazebo bird feeders provide plenty of space and shelter as well as a food supply for your feathered friends, all in an attractive design that will add class to your garden. As you would have guessed from the name, these bird feeders are designed to be reminiscent of regular gazebos and are just as comfortable for birds as they are for people to gather in.

In order to really appreciate gazebo bird feeders one has to understand their benefits over more traditional designs, these include;

Space – Gazebo bird feeders provide the most space out of all the designs you might choose from, and allows you to use up to 2 pounds of the bird feed you prefer. Because of this you wont need to be checking the feeder constantly to ensure that there is still food left for visiting birds – there will be plenty of seeds to last for days at a time.

Durability – Because of the amount of weight that gazebo bird feeders can support you don’t have to worry about them being damaged in the same way a smaller and weaker feeder might be. Most of these feeders can even have a steel cable attached to provide extra support, also this is rarely needed. They are one of the safest and most reliable varieties of bird feeder on the market.

Safety РGazebo  bird feeders have long been admired for their lock design, which makes use of a twist locking facet, connecting it safely to a set feed container with a well style feeding dish.

Good Looks – Besides the obvious fact that these are very attractive bird feeders, you might also be interested to know that gazebo feeders come in a very wide range of diverse styles, including stained glass and wood. This means that you can pick the ideal design to compliment your garden without having to compromise; chic or contemporary, there is something for every home.

No Spills, No Mess – Thanks to the space allowed in a gazebo bird feeder, as well as the clever design, you wont have to worry about mess. This means no spilt seeds sprouting up unwanted plants in your yard around the feeder. Because most people favor seeds over other varieties of bird foods, many people have this problem – but the lock in design means that birds wont be able to spill seeds, so your yard is perfectly safe.

If you are looking for an attractive and practical solution, then a gazebo bird feeder is probably the perfect thing for you.

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