Bird Feeding Tips
A day in the garden or a walk outside can do wonders in easing your stress level! Relax, feel the wind on your face. Admire the sky, the clouds, the trees and plants in the landscape. Listen to the sounds of nature, like birds singing in the trees.
Almost any habitat has its birds. Pigeons and sparrows on the city streets, ducks and geese on the water, all of the small birds swooping in and hopping under the feeders – you will be amazed at how many different species you’ll see when you begin to identify and document the birds around you! Even when the weather is bad, you can be entertained by watching the birds outside your windows.
Winter is a good time to watch birds at your feeders. With less natural food available, birds are drawn to well-stocked feeders. Over time, you’ll identify certain times of day when the birds are actively feeding. Inclement weather will bring birds to the feeder, too, to keep their stomachs filled and their bodies warm.
Start small – hang a feeder in your yard and identify the birds attracted to it. Different types of feeders – filled with different kinds of bird feed – will attract different kinds of birds! Most species of birds love black oil sunflower seeds. Goldfinches and other finch-like birds will flock to a nyger seed feeder. A block of suet usually attracts chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers. Some birds prefer to feed from the feeder, others will gladly eat the seeds that have spilled onto the ground.
To identify the birds, invest in a pair of binoculars and a good field guide to the birds of our area. Peterson’s, Audubon’s and Sibley’s field guides are all good choices. “A Guide to the Birds of Lancaster County” is a book published on behalf of the Lancaster County Bird Club. The club has monthly meetings and field trips. Go online to lancasterbirdclub.org for more information.
Start keeping a list of the different species you see; it will make “bird watching” more interesting and rewarding.
This is a great way to get kids interested in nature and the outdoors!