Nurturing Your Bird-Watching Hobby
In early times, people killed birds in order to study them. However, these days they use binoculars and cameras to observe and study birds. Observing and studying birds in their natural habitat is called bird-watching, or birding. Bird-watching or birding is one of the much-sought hobbies, but bird watching or birding was conceptualized only in the 20th century. It became popular first with the British and then with the Americans, later watching birds as a hobby or study became popular all over the world. Today, bird-watching is a very popular activity in different cultures and countries.
To nurture your bird-watching hobby, you have to travel to the places where birds are abundantly found or come in large numbers, especially, wetlands, national parks, wildlife reserves, forested areas, and lakes. In such places, you can spot two kinds of birds: one, native birds that are endemic to the area; two, migratory birds that come from other places and stay in the area for a while.
If you are unable to visit the places where birds are abundantly found or come in large numbers, you can also set up feeding stations, in the woods near your place, to attract birds. Lured by food and water, birds will slowly begin to flock in the feeding stations.
Alternatively, you can also set up a feeding station in your yard and attract birds to your garden.
Things You Should Know if You Want to Attract Birds to Your Garden
If you love bird-watching but are unable to visit the bird-watching spots, you may want to attract birds to your yard. However, before you begin to work on this idea, you have to know some important things.
#1 Human-Friendly Birds
Even though you may have identified the species endemic to your region, you cannot attract all kinds of birds to your garden. You can only attract birds that are familiar with human beings. Familiar does not mean these birds will allow you to touch them, this means these birds will perch near you as long as you don’t disturb them. It is hard to attract birds that are shy and too much terrified with human sightings.
#2 Species Agreement
It is natural for one kind of bird species to avoid another kind of species. Therefore, some bird species may not visit your garden simply because there are already other bird species in the garden. If you know about the nature and customs of different species of birds, you can attract them in your yard.
#3 Environment and Geographical Location
Not all kinds of birds are found everywhere. Different species of birds are found in different environments and geographical locations. The types of birds you can attract to your garden depend on the geographical location and environment of your garden.
In order to know about the species of birds that are endemic to your region and the type of climate in your place, you have to read ornithological magazines, books; watch documentaries about birds’ habitat, learn about bird species and migratory birds; talk to the specialists, and take pictures of birds whenever you can.
Birds living in extreme climate travel to different places in search of winter-home or summer-home. The birds from cold climate fly to warm climate during the winter, and birds living in the warm climate travel to cold places during the summer. These birds are called migratory birds.
If you want to attract birds to your garden, you have to know:
What species of migratory birds come to your region?
What kind of season is favorable to what kind of species?
Ways to Attract Birds to Your Garden
Your garden must have enough trees and shrubs. Birds are attracted to the natural environment. If your garden lacks naturalness, birds will avoid it.
Birds are attracted to water to drink or have a bath. If you have a pond or fountain, birds will flock into your garden. You can also set up a tub of water or tank in many places to attract birds.
Birds make lots of noise, but they are afraid of human and machinery sound. If you want to attract birds to your garden, you have to stop your children and pets from making noise.
Birds are afraid of cats and dogs. In order to attract birds to your backyard, you have to keep your pets indoors and away from birds sighting. If birds are avoiding your garden because of your neighbors’ pets, ask them to keep the animals indoors.
Set up your garden into a feeding station. Birds are attracted by easy food and water. You can scatter corn, sunflower seeds, beans, birdseeds, and breadcrumbs in your garden or keep them on a tray to attract birds. You also have to know what kind of food is preferred by certain birds. Just don’t always choose the same bird food, go with variety.
If you have fruit trees in your garden, birds will flock into your garden during the fruit-bearing season. Plant fruit-trees as well as flowering trees in your garden. When your garden has enough plants and trees, perhaps birds may want to build nests.
How Birdwatching or Birding Can be Good for Your Mental Health
Human beings have a natural tendency to be attracted to nature. Human beings have a natural urge to appreciate the beauty of nature. Landscape, animals, and birds promote wellbeing and wellness. That’s the reason why people visit zoos, national parks, wildlife reserves, and birds sanctuary. Birdwatching can substantially improve your mental wellbeing. Birding can help in mental alertness, deep concentration, patience, and emotional health. Birding makes mind occupied and active.