Humans have long had a fascination with flying, so an interest in birds only seems natural. In 2012, Audubon magazine reported that 46 million Americans consider themselves bird-watchers; ranging from casual hobbyists to competitive bird enthusiasts. Whatever your level of interest is, here are some great ways to enjoy your local feathered friends.
Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count
If you enjoy bird-watching and have an interest in conservation, then you may want to consider taking part in the Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count from Dec. 14 through Jan. 5.
This event has become an annual tradition for many families, bringing multiple generations together to enjoy nature and support the longest-running wildlife census. In fact, the annual bird count has been going on for the past 114 years.
Armed with binoculars, bird guides, and checklists, tens of thousands of citizen scientists help collect data that is used to assess the health of bird populations and to help guide conservation.
Visit the Audubon’s website to learn more.
Bird-Watching at Home
You can have birds visiting your home by installing a bird feeder!
However, to be beneficial to the birds who visit, here are a few tips:
- Keep your bird feeder clean
- Keep feeders away from windows, which birds may fly into
- If you see a dead or sick bird, stop your feeding for a few weeks to reduce transmission of any diseases
- If you’ll be gone mid-winter, ask a neighbor to refill your feeder, or stock a larger feeder for the birds
- You can offer a variety of seeds in various feeders
For details and to learn more, read “Tips for Better Bird Feeding.”
Bird-Watching With Kids
Your grandchildren may also enjoy bird-watching with you.
Here are a few tips to get kids interested:
- Let them see the birds up close using binoculars
- Get a kid-friendly book on local birds, so they can learn about the type of birds they’re watching
- Help them make a birdhouse and bird feeder
For more tips, read “Bird-Watching for Kids.”
Many people find bird-watching fun, challenging and a great way to enjoy nature. Consider giving it a try at home, or by joining a local bird-watching group or count.