At our house,"We have a customer!", means either a hummingbird at the nectar feeder or birds at the hanging seed tube. The wild birds have become so much a part of our family, that sometimes the kids will mention them (and the wild bunnies) when asked "Do you have any pets?" Bird watching is the second fastest growing hobby in America, bested only by gardening. Come discover why.
Backyard birding requires only three things: a food supply, a water source, and safety from predictors like squirrels. This well-designed site covers each aspect of birding with just the right amount of detail. There is a page dedicated to choosing a bird feeder, with pictures of common styles. And a page about finding a place your feeder that maximizes convenience and viewing pleasure for you, and safety for your bird visitors.
If there aren't any birds to watch from your own window, visit this feeding station in a backyard in Indianapolis, Indiana. Bird FeederCam sends a new a snapshot to the Net every forty-five seconds from dawn till dusk. Use your browser reload button to refresh your view, or click on the picture to open an auto-updating window. Today I watched and waited patiently without any visitors at first. And then magically, two birds arrived at the feeder. If you run out of patience before your first bird arrives, enjoy the best of past images that include owls, woodpeckers, and hummingbirds.
Where would we be without the sounds of birds singing? Tony Phillips of State University of New York has recorded more than a hundred bird songs from sixty five different species, and paired them with the beautiful drawings of Chester Reed. This delightful site is simple to navigate, and the sound files (chirp chirp) are worth the small wait.
For early readers this kid-sized introduction to bird watching can stand alone. But the rest of us will want to follow the inline hyperlinks for more depth. There you'll find treasures such as a chart of bird seed preferences, a complete list of field marks used to identify birds, and a multi-page guide to building bird houses. This two-tiered approach makes this site a great place to start your own birding adventures.
The first step for many birders is hanging a bird feeder near a convenient viewing window. This simple milk jug feeder with an interior perch can be made from a one gallon milk jug and a wooden stick. It is an excellent project for either home or classroom. And at the very bottom of the page, there is a link to instructions on making a different kind of bird feeder from jar covers. Look for the link that says "Recycle Jar Covers and Cans into Suet Feeders."