Oct 192010

Bird watching is a recreational activity where the bird watcher’s gain is the intrinsic rewards of being in sync with nature. Bird watchers enjoy birds. Use common sense when out bird watching. You must always respect wildlife, the environment and the rights of others. As stated in the American Birding Association’s Principles of Birding Ethics, “the welfare of the birds and their environment comes first.”

There are some simple birding ethics that bird watchers must follow. Here are a few of the common sense rules that should be obeyed while bird watching. Make sure that you are not disturbing birds, disturbing other people or harming the environment.

Be sure not to interrupt or disrupt other people from enjoying birding. Respect people’s property and the privacy of others. Aside from people, also avoid disturbing the birds themselves. Don’t disturb or stress birds, especially those who are breeding, as this may cause them to leave or abandon their eggs or chicks. Avoid harassing them with excessive bird calls. Never disturb a nest or handle eggs.

Bird Watcher

Leave nothing but your footprints on your bird watching adventures. Avoid damaging the environment and littering. Make sure to take back any garbage upon leaving. Feeding wild birds inappropriate food is not acceptable. Avoid leaving food scraps or any left-over food that may attract bird predators. When leaving your birding position for a bathroom break take your garbage with you. Wrappers, cans and bottles left behind can attract birds. These misplaced wrappers and items if eaten by the birds may make the birds sick or even cause them to die. It is best to put your trash into your backpack and dispose of it properly.

Also avoid interfering with birds that seem to be in distress. An example is baby birds that are on on the ground. They may not be abandoned but just out of the nest and learning how to fly. Some birds just wait for humans to leave before they rescue or return for their young.

Another example are hummingbirds in a state of torpor. They may look like they’re dead, but actually they are resting to replace the energy. Birds who are stunned because they hit a window or something will come around. Leave them alone. What you can do is to make sure that there are no bird predators around.

Birds carry diseases. There are birds who carry the West Nile Virus and others who have ticks that carry diseases like the Lyme disease. Bird mites can get into humans, although they would not stay, they can cause you some misery. Report sick or dead birds to the local authorities who can appropriately address these cases, but avoid handling the birds.

One of the most important rules is to share the birding code of ethics with beginners. The beginning birder may not be aware of the ethics involved with birding. It is up to the present bird watchers to share this knowledge, what you have learned along the way, with beginning bird watchers. You may just make a new birding friend or two.

In a nut shell, most of the bird watching code of ethics is common sense. Respect fellow bird watchers and respect the environment. Bird watching can be great fun.

Bird watching as a recreational activity can go a long way. By abiding with the code of ethics everyone can benefit from this great sport.


Oct 122010

Bird watching is one sport that can be shared and enjoyed by both parents and children. It is an activity that gets the family involved in the great outdoors. They will not only learn about birds but will experience and observe many other situations and events that happen in the wild.

Kids will look forward to nature trips like hiking and bird watching. Outdoor activities are a great way to get exercise at the same time you are experiencing nature. To keep the kids interested there are many other outdoor activities (ie. camping, picnicking, kite flying and star gazing) that can be combined with bird watching and hiking.

One of the best advantages of bird watching is that it doesn’t require buying bunches of equipment. All that’s needed is a good pair of eyes and a green area. As you become more involved in bird watching and hiking you may want to bring along and pair of bird watching binoculars and a field guide. Binoculars will give you an up-close view of birds and a field guide will help you to identify birds and animals.

Bird watching can be done at any time and in any season. Each season will offer something a little different.

You can set up a bird feeder in the backyard and kids will enjoy the variety of birds that will visit your bird feeder.

Spring is the time to observe the first flowers and the first birds of the season. Birds will be migrating back to their nests. It is also a time to enjoy the new foliage and pick berries. The whole family will have fun in the spring with all the activities that it brings.

Kids Go Bird Watching

Summer showcases many different animals that are most active at this time. Children can spot squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and other animals scurrying along the trail. Apple, pears, peaches and other fruiting trees will be ready to be picked. Gathering fruit to take home to make desserts will be a big hit with the whole family.

Autumn is when birds start migrating. You will see many species of birds congregating and leaving the area for their long journey to warmer climates. It is a time for exploring and collecting pine cones, acorns, seeds and other items before they are buried by the winter’s snow..

Winter, the coldest of all seasons, will have the children tracking animals and learning how animals survive through the long winter. A great sport to do when bird watching is snowshoeing. The children will like trudging through the snow in the cold.

Bird watching or birding will help children increase their knowledge in the field of animals and birds. There are thousands of species of birds worldwide. This is an activity that appeals to children and adults alike. Bird watching with the family will open up many new activities that can be shared by everyone.

Sep 092010

Bird watching is called birding. The first term birding was used for the practice of fowling or hunting with firearms. Bird watchers are also called twitchers in some parts of the world.

More and more people are travelling long distances to spot rare species of birds. Bird watchers and twitchers usually have goals of spotting different species on their own life list. Some bird watchers look at bird watching as a healthy competition. They aim to get or accumulate the longest species list. The act of pursuing a rare specie is called a “twitch” or a “chase”.

Interest in observing birds can be traced back to the early 1700’s in the works of Gilbert White, Thomas Bewick, George Montagu and John Clare. In Britain, during the Victorian Era, it was fashionable to collect eggs and later skins as artifacts of interest. Wealthy collectors even had contacts in colonies that would collect and ship the artifacts for them.

By the 1800’s, many thought that collectors went too far. Bird hats were all the rage. But, Harriet Hemenway took the lead in fighting the millinery trade or feather industry. She went on to shut down the interstate bird skin trade. She later founded the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
Rosalie Edge, another bird watcher and naturalist, went as far as to buy Hawk Mountain, in Pennsylvania, and turn it into the first sanctuary for birds of prey.

The call for bird protection began in the late 1800’s. Observation of living birds became more popular. The Audubon Society was started to protect the birds from the growing bird trade. The term bird watching was first written in the title of the book “Bird Watching” by Edmund Selous in 1901.

The rising popularity of bird watching and the use of cars increased the mobility of birdwatchers. New locations were made more accessible to those interested in birds. Networks of birdwatchers in the UK began to form in the late 1930’s under the British Trust for Ornithology. The BTO saw the potential to produce scientific results through the networks, unlike the Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds (RSPB) which like the Audubon Society originated from the bird protection movement.

With the falling cost of air travel in the 1980’s, many interested and avid bird watchers were flying to remote birding destinations to spot many different and unique species of birds. There are an estimated 80 million Americans into bird watching. More and more people are showing an interest in taking part in this recreational activity.

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.

Name This Bird

 Birds  Comments Off on Name This Bird
Aug 302010

Can you identify this bird? It was at my bird feeder for fifteen minutes this morning. It chased away any birds that came to the side where it was feeding.