Bird Watching is a popular hobby and over 46.7 million Americans participate according to the latest survey conducted by the Department of the Interior. It can also be a healthy hobby as watching birds can release stress, keeps your mind active as you learn about the new birds you find, can take you to new places while searching for birds, and can keep you socially connected as you share with others interested in the hobby. Here are a few helpful tips to turn your back yard in to a wild bird sanctuary.
As with any living thing birds have basic needs: food, water, shelter, and space. Your property may not be large enough to provide a complete habitat but you can add components of it to ensure that birds will be frequent visitors.
Food: Different birds prefer different foods. This image shows the preferences of the most common back yard birds. Feeding for a variety is always a great way to start for a beginner. You can’t go wrong with sunflower seed. As you start looking for different varieties of birds then you can start putting out feed for specific species. Examples of this are oranges for orioles, meal worms for blue birds, in shell peanuts for blue jays.
Also, as important as the food you are feeding is the type and location of your feeder. Make sure your feeder is set up to feed the type of seed you have and allows the birds to easily access it. As for the location of the feeder, an area where there are bushes for shelter is best. Birds don’t like to be in a wide open field. They want the safety of shelter nearby in case there is a predator in the area. Lastly, make sure they have a source of water nearby. They are more likely to feed in a location that they can drink as well.
Water: As with any living thing water is the most important resource. You can provide water to your birds with a bird bath or fountain near your feeders. Again they are more likely to stop in a location that has the resources they need. Keeping the water clean is important as a fresh water source is more attractive than one that is loaded with dirt and bird droppings.
Shelter: Bushes and trees are the main source of shelter for birds. These are necessary to protect them from predators such as hawks. Place you feeders close to these plants and you will notice an increase in the amount of birds feeding in your back yard. If your yard is lacking, you can always plant shrubs and trees or provide bird houses and roosting pockets in your yard for birds to take shelter. With a safe environment you will be sure to increase the amount of birds at your feeders.
Space: This is the part of the habitat that is beyond human control. Birds require different amounts of space in order to find mates, adequate food sources, water and shelter. By providing the other 3 pieces of their habitat you can insure that their space will include your back yard.
We hope this was helpful to you as you are setting up you back yard for wild birds. Understanding their basic needs will help you attract and keep birds coming back. If you need help finding anything while setting up or continuing your bird watching please stop by our store. If you are not able to make it check out our amazon store and you will be sure to find everything you need for your back yard bird sanctuary.