Get Ready For Spring Birding Season

Get Ready For Spring Birding Season

finchEven though it’s the middle of February and you may still have snow on the ground (like me), it’s not too early to start getting prepared for the Spring birding season. Whether you’re new to backyard birding, or a seasoned birder, here are some tips I think you might find helpful.

(1) Set up a new bird feeder (or two or three)- this will begin to attract birds to your yard. The birds you see at your feeder(s) just might nest in your yard come Springtime. I use multiple feeders with a variety of foods to entice as many birds as possible. I will talk about types of bird feeders and bird foods in an upcoming post.

(2) Put up a bird house- you can easily buy one at the store, but why not build your own? It’s an easy and fun project that you can even involve kids in. You may want to put up two or more houses, as this gives finicky birds choices. Just as humans look at lots of houses before deciding on their home sweet home, birds will often check out multiple dwellings before settling down to build their nest and raise their young. More choices equal more birds. I will talk about different bird house requirements and include easy to build plans in an upcoming post.

(3) If you already have a bird house, now is the time to make any needed repairs, and/or clean out last year’s nests. A clean birdhouse will make it easier for birds to choose a home and start building their nest. Imagine if you had to tear down an existing home before you could start building your dream home… It’s much easier and quicker to build on a vacant property. The same is true for birds too.

(4) Start collecting and saving pieces of string and/or yarn and cut them into 2-inch pieces. If you have a pet, save the fur and hair that they so often shed. Put the fur and yarn into a small basket or suet feeder and hang from a tree branch in your yard. Many birds will use this material, in addition to twigs, mosses and feathers, when it comes time to build their nests.

(5) Get a book about birds and learn which birds are commonly seen in your area. A good book will have lots of interesting information including pictures, nesting habits, food preferences and migration maps. Some of my favorite books include:

The Audubon Backyard Birdwatcher: Birdfeeders and Bird Gardens

Woodpeckers of North America by Frances Backhouse

How to Attract Birds by Ortho Books

National Wildlife Federation- Attracting  Birds, Butterflies & Other Wildlife by David Mizejewski

Bird Songs (featuring Audio from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology) by Les Beletsky

Eastern Birds- A Guide to Field Identification of North American Species (A Golden Book) by James Coe

Birds of New York– Field Guide by Stan Tekiela

With these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to attracting colorful, feathery friends to your backyard. Be sure to keep a list of the birds you see and share it with us. Eventually, you will even be able to recognize the birds in your yard just by their delightful songs. Happy Birding!

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