Not only is bird watching a pleasant aesthetic, but it is quite relaxing. My grandparents and parents always watched birds which lead to my love of the activity. Since Jonathan and I have been married, he too has admitted his infatuation with watching those lovely, flighty creatures in our backyard.
Most days I wake up to see out my back window a busy ecosystem surrounding our bird feeders. I’ll watch them, identify who’s come to feed, and record in my mind how many of each variety has arrived for the day. Lately, we’ve had at least five mates of cardinals, a couple blue jays, a pair of hairy woodpeckers, a red-bellied woodpecker, dark-eyed juncos, nuthatches, black capped chickadees, sparrows, and starlings. Occasionally we will spot hawks of many sorts, bald eagles, and turkey buzzards. It’s quite a healthy community and I’m delighted. Once summer arrives we should have added blue birds, humming birds, oriels, robbins, swallows, and many more.
For those of you who have a good ear or at least memory, identifying birds you do not see but hear is a lovely past time as well. I have found this hobby probably my favorite in relation to birds. You will always be able to hear a bird far away, in most cases, but not see it. So, with the ability to identify by ear you may be able to widen your knowledge of birds in your community. BirdJam is a website I use to look up bird songs that are unfamiliar to me.
One benefit that people do not always consciously recognize is that having a diverse, healthy community of birds is great for insect control. This means less pests to bother you while outdoors. It also means your garden can be tended for insects without your assistance. Birds will create a special ecosystem that will help you as a gardener grow a healthy garden that adds beauty and sustenance to your life.
So, go ahead and put up a feeder, buy some feed, and wait for your guests to arrive. It may take a few days to find your food, but they will come. Find homemade feeder designs, to save money or a craft for kids, from the Audubon Society and Unplug Your Kids.