The Best Place to Start Birding Is Your Own Backyard

This Red-Breasted Nuthatch enjoys the peanuts in the seed mix I provide, in a small hopper feeder in my yard.

This Red-Breasted Nuthatch enjoys peanuts in the seed mix I provide, in a small hopper feeder in my yard.

With a little patience, birds like this Black-Capped Chickadee can learn to accept food from your hand.

With a little patience, birds like this Black-Capped Chickadee will learn to accept food from your hand.

If you are thinking about getting into birding try starting close to home.  Really close. You will be amazed at how easy it is to attract a variety of species to your yard regardless of whether you live on a country estate, or in an urban neighbourhood. Attracting birds to your yard is simple, inexpensive and watching them can provide great fun for the whole family.

Visit your local independent bird feed retailer and let them know you are interested in feeding the birds. Their friendly, knowledgeable staff will be able to help you with a set up that fits your space and budget. Feeders range from small hanging feeders, to large wooden ones that are mounted on a pole. The possibilities with feeders is virtually endless. Your local shop will also be able to advise you on seed mixture that will attract the most birds that live in your area.

I started out with just a small hopper feeder mounted on a pole when I bought my first house. As more and more birds came I quickly added more feeders and variety of seed. During winter months I will have as many as ten feeders spread out around my yard. Each type of bird has it’s favorite seed and I like to provide them with it. You don’t have to be as fanatical as I am. One feeder and a good quality seed mix will provide something for everyone.

If you don’t own a house and live in an apartment or condo there are several feeder options available for you. A small hanging tube feeder works great and can be hung anywhere. Plastic stick on feeders can be mounted to any window with the suction cups provided, and provide a “birds eye view.”

Once the birds become accustomed to your feeder they will feed at it everyday. You will notice that birds come most at certain times of the day. Make sure your feeder is full at these times and sit back and enjoy their beauty. Birds will become very tolerant of people and will still visit the feeder if you are out enjoying your yard. Some species of birds such as Chickadees, Woodpeckers, and Nuthatches will even take seed from your hand if you work at it. This is always fun for children and people new to birding.

If feeding the birds in your yard  is something you don’t already do, give it a try. I know you will enjoy it. I have yet to meet anyone that once they put a feeder up, takes it back down.

Good birding,
Paul

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