Observing Your Backyard Birds
Bird enthusiasts have enjoyed watching birds flock
to their feeders for years, laughing at the avian antics and marveling
at their acrobatics. Some birders have taken an extra step, and have
been monitoring and journaling the birds which frequent their feeder.
Such observation is becoming increasingly important to the scientific
community. We have several tools that can help you observe and
identify the feathered visitors in your birding sanctuary.
In this increasingly manmade world, ornithologists are continually
scrutinizing the populations of migratory birds. Watching the birds
visiting your feeder can aid in their research. By journaling the
different birds you see at the feeder, this will help determine if
populations of that bird are rising, falling, or remaining steady.
Moreover, noting the time of year different birds frequent your yard
help determine migratory patterns, and if they are changing. Many
established ornithologists use information from home birders to
supplement their research. By enrolling in such a program, you can not
only learn more about local birds, but also aid in furthering
Great tools for observation are binoculars and cameras. Both of these
instruments will offer more details than can be seen from the naked
eye. Optics with a high magnification power will allow you to see
every bit of the bird better, helping ascertain the correct species.
Additionally, setting up a camera next to the feeder will help you
view the birds visiting the area when you are not able to personally
If you are unsure of the avian species you are seeing, a good idea is
to cross reference your observations with birding guides and software.
Field guides are usually divided by bird type, and are compiled and
printed for the eastern and western half of the United States.
Additionally, software programs for birds specific to your state,
birds of your region, birds that visit particular feeders, or all the
birds in North America can help determine which species are in your
backyard. For additional assistance, audio guides will help isolate
bird calls you have heard.
Observing birds visiting your feeder is not only a rewarding hobby,
but also a necessary part of scientific research. Such close
observation can indicate fluctuations in bird populations, and help
scientists learn even more about our feathered friends. Using tools
such as optics, cameras, books, and software will aid you in learning
more about birds, as well as properly identifying those in your
sanctuary. View all of our birding items available on our site at Fire
& Barbecue Department. For more personal assistance, feel free
to call our customer service representatives toll free at 877-562-1818
or internationally at 513-232-4225 from 9 AM to 5 PM Eastern Standard
Time Monday through Friday.