Are you interested in bird watching, but don’t know where to start? My mama fed birds outside our kitchen window for all my adolescent years. She even kept a journal and tried to attract more and more varieties each year. Just how do you do that? Let’s talk about beginning bird watching.
In order to watch and identify birds, you need a captive audience! Choose a spot in your yard that you can see comfortably from inside. Like my mama, I like to have my bird feeders outside of my kitchen window. I spend a lot of my home time in the kitchen and I love watching bird tv while cooking and washing dishes. But you may choose a large picture window in your living room, or you may have a sunroom with windows all around. Choose a room with a window that you look out of often.
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This seed mixture is the cheapest and is a great place to start. With this you will attract a good variety of the most common backyard birds. You can pour it out on the ground, or on your deck rail, or on a board, or you can purchase a fairly cheap bird feeder. A feeder will protect it somewhat from rain and snow and also help keep rodents from inviting themselves in for a free meal.
It might take a day or two before the birds find your lure, but they will. And once you start feeding them they will return year after year. Now that they have come, you will be constantly wondering “what kind of bird is that?” and so you will want to get a bird identification book to keep nearby. You can also ask Google on your phone, but it’s easier when you have comparison notes, tips, and pictures provided from a book.
There are so many books to choose from! Find one for your area of the country/world.
You will find that there are many confusing brown birds at your feeders. Your new bird identification book will tell you that their distinguishing marks might be a tiny black spot near the eye, or a white patch under a wing. When you get this deep into identifying your bird friends, you will want a pair of binoculars to help distinguish these markings.
Some of the most common birds at my feeders are shown here in these well worn pages of my bird book.
Purple Finch, Cardinal, American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin
Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse
Besides a feeder and a book, you really don’t need any extras to enjoy beginning bird watching. You will need somewhere to keep your bird seed though. Check out how I made my bird seed storage.