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The HubPages Birdwatcher's Club: Back Yard Birding

Updated on November 6, 2012
Feeding Table
Feeding Table | Source

Necessities for Back Yard Birding

There are many features that you can incorporate into your back yard for birdwatching purposes. It is essential to have water, food in some type of feeder, plants to attract birds, and places for them to hide if they have the need to do so. Trees and shrubs are important, but if one doesn’t have the space, it pays to be a little creative. Do you have some driftwood that you can bring to your yard? Perhaps a few odd shaped pieces of firewood that someone you know isn’t going to use? Does Uncle Moe have an old wheelbarrow with a hole in it that he was going to throw away? These are all good items that may not cost you a dime, but it will help in attracting more birds to your back yard.

Another Feeding Table
Another Feeding Table | Source

Types of Feeders

Feeders need not be expensive if you prefer to go that route. Wood feeders are the most traditional, as they hold plenty of seed, they’re easy to fill, and many birds can feed from them. Plastic has its advantages, too. They are squirrel proof to a point, as squirrels can chew through them. But if you get feeders with squirrel baffles, they can’t get to the feeder to cause it any harm. These feeders don’t hold as much seed, and they tend to hold moisture from condensation.

Assorted Perches
Assorted Perches | Source
Back Yard Blind
Back Yard Blind | Source

Seeds and Feeders

There are also tube feeders for thistle or sunflower seed. Thistle can get moldy if not eaten quickly, so it may be advantageous to get a smaller feeder. Niger(thistle) feeders have very small holes to allow finches, especially goldfinches, to pull the seeds through.

Tin Feeder
Tin Feeder | Source

More Feeding Options

Suet feeders will attract woodpeckers, starlings, and nuthatches. These are covered with vinyl to keep the wire from rusting or corroding. You could even use coconut shell halves, homemade logs with holes drilled in them, or mesh bags.

One can also attract orioles with grape jelly in a small, wide rimmed glass, and/or orange or apple halves on nails. If you like jays or titmice, a peanut feeder is best for them.

Eastern Bluebird at Birdbath
Eastern Bluebird at Birdbath | Source
Fledgling Eastern Bluebird
Fledgling Eastern Bluebird | Source

Feeding Patterns

Different birds have different feeding patterns, so there are also ground feeders for jays, doves, sparrows and towhees. Scatter the seed on the ground in a sheltered area or use a flat feeder close to the ground. You can easily make those with window screen and slats, if you don’t wish to purchase one. Birds that prefer to feed off the ground will use post feeders, like grosbeaks, sparrows, juncos, and chickadees. You could even place a dish of food on an old stump. Hanging feeders will hang on a tree limb or from poles with arms, and will be attractive to chickadees, finches, and titmice. Tree feeders can be placed 5 or 6 feet off the ground. One can use seed, peanuts, peanut butter or suet feeders, and these will be enjoyed by jays, nuthatches, chickadees, etc.

Water Feature and Garden Area
Water Feature and Garden Area | Source
Blue Jay at Birdbath
Blue Jay at Birdbath | Source

Today's Event

I was at the finest back yard made specifically with birds in mind this morning. I got several photos and thought that you would enjoy some of them, so I am also including them in this piece. It may give some of you ideas on what you might like to add to your back yard, patio, or terrace. Or, if you have other ideas to share with us that I haven’t mentioned, by all means, please do so.

Northern Cardinal with Fledgling
Northern Cardinal with Fledgling | Source
Old Wheelbarrow with Cover for Birds
Old Wheelbarrow with Cover for Birds | Source


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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You sure can, Deerwhisperer! Nice to meet you, as well, and I also like your material. Thanks for the votes, and looking forward to seeing you.

    • Deerwhisperer profile image

      Brenda K Krupnow 5 years ago from Ravenden, AR

      Can I join the club? Good hub. I'm a fellow bird lover, hubber, and photographer. Perhaps we can share some ideas. I voted up, awesome, useful, and shared. Nice to meet ya!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      It is very possible, precy anza. Glad that you were able to ID this bird, by what I mentioned.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 5 years ago from USA

      Haven't taken any pictures. I was outside fixing trellis then saw it hopping on the ground pot by pot looking for food :) Didn't eat it thou as it flew away with food in its beak. Maybe it has cute baby birds to feed?

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Glad to hear that you identified your birds! Have you been taking any pictures?

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 5 years ago from USA

      Another great hub of yours Avian :) Not only I learned about the topic but learned as well that the bird that use to visit our patio is called towhees. I just had the feeling it would be mentioned in there, and so with help of Mr. Google, I searched every bird you mentioned. ^-^' Voted up! Enjoyed the photos as always!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Ann! Stop by anytime, especially on the birdwatcher's hub. My plans are eventually to include nationwide news, and maybe even worldwide that is bird related. Who knows where this might go...

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Wow,Jeannie, thanks for the great compliment! It was a pleasure being there on Sunday, I enjoyed myself so. I'm sure that the birds found me entertaining, as well. Thanks again for the great time!

    • annmackiemiller profile image

      annmackiemiller 5 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      great hub but then I love birding. :0)

    • profile image

      Jeannie Dibble 5 years ago

      Your photography of my backyard is wonderful..The platform feeder, which I placed in front of my kitchen window has given me the best photo opportunities I've ever experienced. The reason is that it places me at the same height as the birds.

      In 22 years at my house I can remember only a handful of times having bluebirds visit my yard and the day you came there was a bluebird family in the yard...what a joy to see you get the photo.

      Thanks Deb, you dedication to our birds so warms my heart.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You know, kashmir, you could try this experiment. Put out some black oil sunflower seeds and a larger plant with your birdbath, and see what shows up for birds. You might be surprised.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      gamby, put out a peanut feeder, and they'll be back!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, unknown spy. My friend sure knows how to decorate for the birds, eh?

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi aviannovice this is all great information for anyone who whats to birdwatch in their backyard . I have a bird bath in my back yard but where i live we don't have many different type of birds around.

      Vote up and more !!!

    • gamby79 profile image

      gamby79 5 years ago

      You're right..I love this hub! Great information and ideas. Thank you aviannovice! I used to have a bluejay in my backyard but haven't seen him this year. Hopefully will be able to attract one in the near future.


    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Hey Deb, those feeding tables are awesome. It's cute.. :) Wonderful hub.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Joyce, all blue jays are naughty. As a rehabber, feeding the babies were so endearing. As adults, they are never quiet. The babies aren't, either. They would eat and talk simultaneously. It was a wonder that they didn't choke on their food.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Great helpful hub. I remember feeding the Stellar Blue Jays when we had a mountain resort and they can be naughty little tikes. Joyce.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Ah, tim, I envy you! I have yet to see a black phoebe. One day...

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 5 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Great hub aviannovice. A welcome read to any birding enthusiast. There are awesome ideas presented that will assure the watcher of those critters with wings a sight to see day after day. Thank you for all the tips and pics showing how and why. I'm lucky some say, my desk I sit at now overlooks the garden. There are close to half a dozen now including a black phoebe snatching flying insects - cool.


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You are most welcome, Diana Lee. I spent a year in Clarion County, by the way.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 5 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      I love this hub. Good job.


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