Great Christmas Gifts For The Bird Watcher On Your List

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Nov 192012
 

Are you hunting a Christmas present for that hard-to-buy-for person? Here are a few great gift ideas for either the casual backyard bird watcher or the avid birdwatcher on your list.

For the casual backyard birders there are feeders, binoculars, bird seed, bird seed wreaths and ornaments, decorative banners with bird themes. And, for those avid birdwatchers there are binoculars, birding scopes, cameras and all kinds of accessories. A membership in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology or your local Audubon Society are other neat Christmas gifts that last all year for the bird watcher.

A pair of binoculars makes a wonderful gift. They will give that special person on your Christmas list hours and hours of entertainment watching birds. Binoculars can start anywhere from under $30 into the thousands of dollars. The choice and price of the binoculars will depend on how and under what conditions the bird watcher will be using the binoculars. For tips on choosing the right binoculars visit: Easy Steps to Choosing the Right Bird Watching Binoculars. An avid birdwatcher may even want a field scope and tripod.

A new bird feeder is a wonderful present for both the birdwatcher as well as the birds. Winter feeding is important for the birds, too. There are many different new-fangled bird feeders that attract different birds to the yard. Your present will provide lots of enjoyment while watching birds coming to the new feeder.

There are bird seed ornaments, gadgets and many decorations which make cute presents. And, a birder will never turn away a big bag of black oil sunflower seeds.

Cameras make a nice and useful Christmas present. Just like binoculars, the type of camera needed is determined by how and where the birdwatcher uses the camera. The casual backyard birdwatcher may only want a minimal zoom lens and everything automatic on the camera. While the avid birder will want a camera that has all the bells and whistles on it.

There are so many neat, fun and useful presents that can be given to the birdwatchers on your list. I’m sure they will love the present, get much joy out of it and say, “This is just what I wanted”.

Visit Your Bird Feeder Store for a few ideas.

Aug 312010
 

You do not have to go far to enjoy and learn about birds and bird watching. Your own backyard can serve as a fun place where new bird watchers can start learning the basics about birds.

To construct the best birdwatching area in your backyard, you can make use of different bird feeders filled with a variety of seeds. Different styles of feeders and seeds will attract different birds to your yard.

Experiment with the various seeds in the bird feeders to attract the specific birds that you want to see in your backyard. Your geographic location is one of the main factors that will determine the birds that will visit your feeder.

Some of the more common types of bird feed are black oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, striped sunflower seeds, nectar, safflower seeds, millet and thistle. You will learn what seed attracts which birds to the different feeders that are placed around your backyard.

Get to know how far away feeders need to be from each other. Birds like to have a safe landing area away from their predators. Place feeders close to trees, bushes or shrubs. It is important to keep feeders away from noisy streets or any other noisy areas that could spook the birds.

Backyard Bird Feeder

Increasing the number of plants in your backyard will almost guarantee that more birds will be visiting your bird feeders. You can even try to create a layered garden to provide richness and diversity in your garden. You can add layers by planting clusters of shade loving small trees, shrubs and ground cover under taller trees. The birds will love the plants and your backyard will be transformed into a beautiful natural woodland.

Now it’s time to sit back, observe and study your backyard bird habitat. Make sure you have a clear view of all the feeders. A basic pair of binoculars is needed to catch a close-up look of all the birds. These optical devices will greatly increase your ability to identify birds by their distinct markings and behavior. It will not take long until you become very familiar with many of the birds that will be coming to the feeders.

As you become more involved in bird watching, a spotting scope can provide you with a closer look at your new feathered friends.

There is nothing better than watching colorful birds fly around a native and natural garden that almost looks like the bird’s natural habitat.

Dec 142009
 

The most important piece of equipment for every bird watcher is a good pair of bird watching binoculars. Whether you are watching birds at your bird feeder or hiking along a trail, here are a few things to consider when purchasing bird watching binoculars.

The main components of bird watching binoculars are the following: the eyepieces (the end that goes up to the eye), the objective lens (the larger end of the glasses), the prisms (the glass inside the binoculars that receives the light) and the focus wheel (usually between the eyepieces).

Bird watching binoculars come with many different numbers attached to them. But, what do all these numbers (i.e. 7×35, 8×42, 10×50) mean? It’s not as complicated as it sounds. The first number (i.e. 7, 8, 10) in the group of numbers is the magnification. All that means is the objects that you are viewing through your bird watching binoculars will be 7x closer, 8x closer, or 10x closer. The choice is yours. For example, you have a pair of 8×42 bird watching binoculars and a bird is perched in a tree 80 feet away. The object will appear 8 times closer (80/8=10ft.). So, it will look like the object is only 10 ft. away from you. Picking the right magnification depends on the way that you will be using your binoculars for birding, but remember that the higher the magnification the steadier you need to hold the binoculars.

The second number attached to that group of numbers on your bird watching binoculars is the objective lens diameter. The objective lens is the far lens or larger lens on the binoculars. The objective lens diameter is the size in millimeters (i.e. 35, 42, 50) of the lens. This just simply means that a larger objective lens will let more light into the binoculars. The more light that enters the objective lens, the better the details and the brighter the image. If you are planning to use your bird watching binoculars more towards dusk or in the dark then the 50mm lens will be a better choice.

Bird watching binoculars have one of two types of prism designs. The two types are porro and roof prism systems. The porro prism system has a z-shaped optic path. What does this mean to you? Bird watching binoculars employing this system are bigger, bulkier and heavier, probably not a choice if you do alot of walking and hiking to watch birds. On the other hand, a couple of advantages of the porro prism is that they will have a wider field of view and they will cost less.

The roof prism system uses prisms that overlap closely, resulting in a slimmer and more compact shape. This makes the roof prism binoculars more lightweight. The drawback with the roof prism is that the field of view will be narrower and they are a more expensive bird watching binocular.

Another very important feature to consider when purchasing bird watching binoculars is the ease of focusing the binoculars. With birds constantly in motion, look for a pair of bird watching binoculars that has a quick and sharp focus wheel. Look for the focus mechanism on the binoculars to focus from far to close in one or less revolution. You want your binoculars to feel comfortable in your hands.

Remember, it is an individual preference and you should buy the best bird watching binoculars that you can afford.

Click The Three Models You Need To Check Out to see a review of binoculars that I recommend.

 

Dec 132009
 

Setting up a bird bath fountain is an easy way to attract birds to your yard. The seeds that your bird feeder contains will only attract certain birds. By adding a bird bath fountain to your backyard you will draw additional species of birds. You will be seeing 2 to 3 times more birds in your yard.

Water is essential to birds. They need water to drink and they also love to play in the water. Watching birds at the bird bath fountain will provide you with entertainment as you watch the birds splashing in it. A bird bath fountain, with the sound of moving water, will attract plenty of birds.

Still water bird baths can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Running water from misters, drippers or waterfalls in the bird bath fountain alleviates that problem.

A bird bath fountain can be operated by either electric or solar power. A solar powered bird bath fountain doesn’t require any additional plumbing or electrical wiring. It costs nothing to run, but does require placement in a sunny location.

Bird bath fountains are constructed out of many different materials:  mosaic tiles, concrete, stone, cement, copper, glass, marble, resin, brass or other metals.

The design of a bird bath fountain can be very elaborate and will make a statement in your garden habitat. Conversely, there are bird bath fountains made to blend into the natural landscape.

There should be a rim that is easy for birds to grip so that it can act as a perch. The bowl should have a depth of 2-3 inches.  If you have a deeper bowl, placing small pebbles in the bottom will decrease the depth. A textured surface will keep the birds from slipping.

There are a variety of different types of bird baths:  deck mount, hanging, tiered and pedestal.

  • The deck mount is simple to install and is ideal for apartment dwellers or those who don’t have a large yard. The drawback to a deck mount bird bath is that it is easy prey for cats. If there are cats in the area you may want to think twice about selecting this style.
  • The hanging bird bath can be hung from trees, overhangs or awnings. The downside to the hanging bird bath is that the birds can get it to swing and swish the water right out.  This may have you filling the bird bath more often than you would like.
  • A waterfall bird bath fountain is tiered. This style allows the birds to take a shower under the falling water.
  • A very popular and versatile choice is the pedestal bird bath fountain. This is a preferred bird bath because it can be placed in any area of your yard.

Many of the different types of bird bath fountains incorporate misters and drippers in the bird bath.  Hummingbirds and warblers love to fly through the misters.

Look for an open spot to locate your bird bath fountain. You want the birds to feel safe so make sure that cats don’t have easy access to the area.

In hot weather you should clean your bird bath fountain daily. In cooler weather it should be cleaned every few days. Remember, that a bird bath heater should be installed to keep the water from freezing in the winter. With proper maintenance your bird bath fountain will last for many years.

The perfect bird bath fountain, as recommended by birding enthusiasts, is one with moving water, functional perches, a textured surface and one that is solar powered. You will appreciate the beauty it brings to your garden bird feeder habitat. The birds will love your bird bath fountain. Just sit back and enjoy the view!

Nov 142009
 

You’re dreaming of starting your first garden bird feeder.  You are looking forward to sitting back and enjoying all the beautiful birds that will be attracted to your garden bird feeder. You’re picturing all the beautiful blossoms that the birds will be enjoying.  It’s the perfect time of the year to plan a beautiful garden bird feeder.  You don’t need a large yard to set-up a beautiful and decorative garden bird feeder.  The following facts will leave you with  a bird-friendly yard and a natural setting that will be as pleasing to you as it will be for the wild birds.

Establish a bird sanctuary in an area that allows a safe landing site for the birds.  Allocate a spot for your garden bird feeder near trees or shrubs.  Remember, the landscaping doesn’t have to be elaborate.  You may already have a place that has shrubs and trees that you can expand on.  Birds will use the trees and shrubs for protection from predators.  The trees and shrubs will supply the birds with a range of nesting material and nesting sites.  Grow a variety of trees and plants that will yield year round food like berries and seeds that will ripen at different times throughout the year.  Allow a portion of your manicured grass to grow higher by your garden bird feeder.  The higher grass areas provide the birds with an assortment of insects.

A variety of plants will supply the best benefits for the birds.  Consider adding native and summer fruiting plants close to your garden bird feeder.  The food produced by these plants will be well suited for the wild birds that live around you.  Birds feed on a variety of insects that are found on the plants.  Flowering plants produce seeds which is a favorite food source for finches, sparrows and other songbirds. Wild birds come for the seeds more than the blossoms. Remove plants in your garden bird feeder that are not supplying food in favor of plants that do.

Planting flowers is an easy way to attract wild birds to your garden bird feeder. Birds are attracted to your garden bird feeder by numerous types of flowers. Plant flowers that are native to your area.  Hummingbirds will be drawn to the garden bird feeder by red flowers.  Other birds will come to your garden bird feeder for sunflowers, daisies, zinnias and any other flowers with seeds.  This is why it is so important not to cut them down when they are done blooming, it’s the seeds that the birds love.

Actually, you can double the number of wild birds attracted to your garden bird feeder by supplying an adjacent water source.  A water source will even increase the number of different species of wild birds that will be stopping by for a drink.  All species of wild birds will stop at your water station.  Otherwise, you would miss the wild birds that are not attracted to the food source that your garden bird feeder is furnishing.  A bird bath is one of the easiest ways to entice more wild birds.  The bird bath needs to be cleaned and filled with fresh water frequently.  Remember, in the winter, the wild birds look for open sources of water.  By installing a heater in your bird bath you will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of wild birds flocking to your garden bird feeder in the cold months. If you are creating a natural bird sanctuary you could consider incorporating a small pond as your water source in your garden bird feeder.

This sounds like there is so much to do, but don’t be overwhelmed with it.  Start with trees, shrubs and plants that your yard already provides.  Plan the gradual transition of your garden bird feeder over several planting seasons.  It will give you something to look forward to every winter.  Plan and plant only the space that you will be able to easily take care of at your garden bird feeder.

You will find pleasure in the success of your garden bird feeder knowing that you have built a natural habitat and are helping to protect the environment.  Your careful planning of your garden bird feeder will have you enjoying the sights and sounds of the sweet songbirds.  They will enjoy their new habitat and will depend on it in all seasons to come.