The HubPages Birdwatcher's Club: Back Yard Birding
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.
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.
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.
Need Bird Feeders?
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.
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.
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.