Greg Miller, an Ohio birder who served as inspiration for one of the characters in “The Big Year”, tell the story of his own birding life.
This Birding Life/Bird Watcher’s Digest
Host Bill Thompson, III, interviews Jonathan Meiberg, a birder and leader of the indie-rock band Shearwater.
This Birding Life/Bird Watcher’s Digest
English birder Bo Beolens, the Fatbirder, recounts his first birding trip to Florida.
This Birding Life/Bird Watcher’s Digest
Every back yard birder knows about the hanging bird feeders, and the dish bowl bird feeders, but few birders know that some birds, like the Junco, prefer ground bird food feeders. These birds often wait for the droppings from hanging bird feeders, and are hungry when the feeders do not allow any food to fall.
Ground Bird Food Feeders for The Junco
There are feeders that can be placed on or near the ground, but the Junco and other small sized sparrow birds, like to scratch. They are not picky eaters, and will eat the less loved white millet unlike a healthy squirrel who generally will pass on the millet, and go for black sunflower seed over millet. The ability for the Junco to search and scratch on the ground, is a great thing for your bird watching scenery, as they are unusually active birds on the vulnerable ground. Ground bird food for Juncos can be white millet, safflower, white proso millet, or even cracked corn that is mold free. Corn has a nasty habit of inducing mold on its open kernel, so if you intend to add some starch by adding corn, you may want whole kernels, and crack it yourself before you scatter.
Ground Bird Food Attracts Not Only Juncos but Other Birds
Other birds that may be attracted to your ground bird food will include Junco, but also, Sparrows, Doves, Quails, Towhees, and some Bobwhite Birds. You may want to include a healthy but skim scattering of food on the ground each time your fill your hanging feeders, to give your Juncos, and Doves the right nutrition for them. They are great scatter feeders, and need to eat off the ground.
Wild Turkeys too, like to scatter feed, and will scratch areas clean when you have wood chips underneath hanging feeders. Over the course of a few years, I have noticed that the soil underneath my feeders is rich and can be good to add to compost, to bring up the compost value for my garden. The natural visits from our feathered friends, are a good nutrient addition to any yard.
Ground Bird Food can Create some Challenges
Even if you do not intend to feed on the ground, your ground bird food options will naturally occur from a hanging feeder. The most careful hanging bird feeder still will have bird visitors, who like to dump food on the ground for others. I watched a sparrow come to my feeder one day, and empty the feeder out for the flock below.
The next time I filled, I added a small but open chicken wire sleeve into the hole, and the dumper came back, but then dropped to the ground, and discovered the scatter I had left. This way, the food was not as plentiful, as to encourage rodent and other wildlife visitors, but enough to provide the ground bird food that the sparrows desired.
There is always one sparrow in a group who is the dumper, and you can easily deter this one ground bird food eater with a small chicken wire sleeve inserted into the feeder.
Categories: Birding Back Yard Tags: Back Yard, Bird Feeders, Bird Food, Birder, Birders, Birds, Bowl Feeders, Cracked Corn, Dish, Doves, Food Eaters, Free Corn, Great Scatter, Hanging Bird, Junco, Kernels, Nasty Habit, Open Kernel, Picky Eaters, Sparrows, Sunflower Seed, White Proso Millet, Wild Turkeys, Wood Chips
Optics workers will tell you they are often asked to recommend the best binocular for birders (bird watchers) To match the binocular to the birder it helps to first look at the needs of the birding enthusiast.
What sort of optical demands must we consider? Well for one thing the birder need to see details like the patterns and color of feathers, often in dim light such as under a tree canopy or in twilight. They need good magnification so that they can easily identify birds at a distance and sometimes they will want to observe birds at very short distances so they want their binoculars to work for close focus observing too, maybe even down to just a few meters.
They need true color viewing so they can see everything as it really is colored and not with any tint or false color. They also need a reasonable field of view so they can observe birds in flight easily and be able to pick birds out from the surrounding trees.
They want the binoculars to be light enough to carry and hang on a neck-strap. Their binoculars should be light enough to hold comfortably for viewing and easy enough on the eyes to be able to use for long periods. Birders usually want their binoculars to be compact enough to pack in a rucksack. For observing from hides they often want to use their binoculars on a tripod or mono-pod so a fitting for these adapters is advisable. If their bird watching is in the wilderness then rugged construction and some element of waterproofing and fog-proofing is also advisable.
When looking at binocular specifications we usually pay most attention to the two numbers that define the basic specifications. The first number gives us the magnification factor, so an 8x binocular magnifies an image (brings it closer) by 8 times. The higher the magnification the more difficult it becomes to use the binoculars effectively due to the natural hand-shake which makes it difficult to keep the bird in view and also the smaller the field of view will be. For birding use, an 8x binocular is the most commonly used though in some circumstances enthusiasts will use higher magnification.
The second number in the specs tells us the diameter of the objective lens. This is important for two reasons, firstly the larger the diameter the more light is captured by the binocular so the clearer and brighter the resulting image. Secondly, the larger diameter also gives a larger field of view. In the birding world, the most popular objectives are 40mm and 42mm. Getting much higher than this makes the binocular a little too heavy and large.
Other important considerations are the quality of the lenses and prisms and the optical coatings used on those elements. These coatings reduce loss of light through reflection from the binocular and its internal components and they help to preserve good clarity and true color throughput. As a rule of thumb look for Fully-Multi-Coated (FMC) coatings for bird watching use. The specification for eye relief refers to the distance between the eyepiece and the eye. Those who wear glasses will need a longer eye relief to allow for the extra distance caused by the glasses being between the binocular and their eye.
Roof and Porro Prism designs refer to the two body styles of binoculars. This difference comes about through the placement of the internal prisms within the binocular body. Roof prism types are the more compact and modern looking. Their objective lenses are more or less in line with the eyepieces, while porro prism types are the traditional style with the lenses stepped out from the line of the eyepieces. More and more birding enthusiasts are now opting for the roof prism type particularly as their quality has caught up with the porro types in recent years.
Categories: Bird Observations Tags: best, Best Birding Binoculars, BINOCULAR, Binoculars, Bird Watchers, Birder, Birding, Birding Optics, Birds In Flight, Choose, Dim Light, Distances, Feathers, Fog, Hand Shake, Long Periods, Magnification Factor, Pod, Rucksack, Rugged Construction, Tree Canopy, True Color, Waterproofing, Wilderness
To what extent you take field notes when birding is a matter of personal choice. The goal of using field notes varies among birders. Birding field notes range from a list of birds seen on a particular day at a particular place – to observing birds for the purpose of identification and/or the collection of data, using habitat, time of year, voice, markings, color, size, posture, how the bird flies and anything else that will help you in the endeavor. So, the first step in taking field notes is to make a conscious decision what you want to record.
For instance, if your goal is to ID a bird, consider using this field noting technique. After observing the bird and before opening your field guide do two things. 1) Immediately write down what you see (there is really a reason short term memory is called “short term”). 2) Accompany your notes with sketches. No matter how rough the sketch, drawing forces you to observe detail. Don’t waste time flipping through your field guide when you could be observing the bird and noting detail!
When finished writing and sketching, now open your field guide and try to match what you’ve written/sketched with the description given by the guide. If the bird is still around, look for any markings or characteristics the book mentions that you may not have noted.
Lastly, the only person that will see your field notes is you unless you choose to share them. Don’t be concerned about spelling or grammar and don’t be concerned about a lack of writing or drawing ability. When is the last time you heard someone say, “He has the bird ID correct but just look at that dangling participle!” Happy birding.
John Wilton is an avid birder who provides a convenient source for birding information and current birding news at SpeakBeak.com. He helps people to take their first steps into the world of birding while providing relevant information to more experienced birders, as well.
If you want to learn more about birding and current birding news you will find many more resources at SpeakBeak.com. Also, visit SpeakBeak.com’s online store for great deals on birding books, binoculars and much more!
Article from articlesbase.com
Categories: Bird Observations Tags: Bird Flies, Bird Id, Birder, Birding, Conscious Decision, Endeavor, Extent, Field, First Steps, Grammar, John Wilton, Last Time, List Of Birds, Notes, Noting Detail, Personal Choice, Posture, Short Term Memory, Sketch Drawing, Sketches, Spelling, Time Of Year, Waste Time
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Categories: Bird Observations Tags: BINOCULAR, Binoculars, Bird Observations, Bird Watcher, Birder, Bushnell, Bushnell Binocular, Bushnell Natureview, Ea, Edge Sharpness, Eye Relief, Focus Capability, Mccormick, Naturalist, Nature Observer, Natureview, Observation Periods, Pennsylvania Birds, S Creek, Spencer Indiana, Western Birds, Wild Animals, Wonders Of Nature
We all love spending enjoyable times in our gardens and backyards, and one of our favorite kinds of garden and backyard decor accents are bird feeders. You can indeed add a unique
decorative element to almost any yard, patio, or garden. Bird feeders cultivate a liveliness in the yard or garden that flowers and plants alone cannot produce. And remember, the presence of birds add additional pleasurable experiences to time spent in the yard or garden.
What should I pay attention for when I decide to buy a bird feeder?
First of all focus on choosing garden accents such as primitive bird feeders, unique bird feeders, and decorative bird feeders. As any backyard and garden birder knows, a single bird feeder is not adequate once you get hooked on feeding the birds.
Remember, there are all types and styles to choose from. Larger feeders to accommodate more birds, getting different feeders for different types of seed, or just adding more feeders for a growing flock. One important factor is to choose a feeder style that will be attractive to birds. Keep in mind, you don’t have to have a big yard or garden to put out some bird feeders. Some people even collect bird feeders as collectible items for there yards. Bird feeders are just a delight to have around your home, patio, and garden. Birds of all types will be attracted to your bird feeder, providing hours of enjoyment for you and the birds. After all, your feathered friends need a regular place to dine, and quality bird feeders will compliment your birdhouses.
What kinds and types of bird feeders are available?
There are so many different types of bird feeders, that you might feel overwhelmed when choosing one. Just remember, not all birds will use the same feeder, nor will they eat the same bird food. It is a good idea to hang several feeders in your yard to attract different types of birds. The more you attract, the more enjoyable your bird watching will be. Keep your bird feeders up all year round, because in the winter time food can be hard to find for birds. Providing a bird feeder allows them to survive the food-poor season and the bitter cold. The different kinds of bird feeders other than the normal feeders consist of Platform Feeders, which set off the ground about a foot. These are the easiest to maintain which are actually just a simple table with raised edges with a mesh wire bottom. These attract all the birds. Then there are the Tube Feeders, which are great for the smaller perching birds like the finches and chickadees. They are made to let these birds eat without being turfed off by bigger nuisance birds.
And then if you want to see the birds up close you can invest in a Window Feeder. These sit on the window sill or are suctioned to the glass. They include a one-way mirror so you can see them, but they won’t scare away seeing you.
Also, there is the Suet Feeder that holds a protein filled snack for your feathered friends. They hang upside down which only allows woodpeckers and smaller birds to eat from them, so they can keep up on the high protein and fat they need.
Not to forget the Hummingbird and Oriole Feeders that you can hang in front of windows so you can admire these nectar drinking beauties from the comfort of your own home.
There are all kinds of bird feeders out there, plain feeders, colorful feeders, copper feeder, just to name a few.
What do I need to keep in mind when installing bird feeders?
After you have bought your bird feeders it is important to remember to mount or hang your feeders above a cat’s leaping range and install an aluminum or plastic sleeve that will prevent the traction of cat claws. You can also place metal pie pans to serve as baffles on the wire to ward off the intruders. Your feeder can also be raised on a pole, hung from a strong tree branch or fastened to the railing of your deck or porch. Several feeding locations will bring you more different kinds of birds than a single feeder, because each species of birds will find its own preferred food, location, and level.
Now what Seeds should I use to attract and feed the birds with?
Okay, now once you have the bird feeders up it is time to fill them with food. There are all kinds of different seeds and food that birds love. Birds love black oil sunflower, white millet, niger, safflower, cracked corn, and broken nuts. Try to feed your birds every day on a regular basis, but if you have to be away from home don’t worry because birds are use to having food source disappear, and they know where they can go find food until you come back home. When you do get back home start filling the feeders again or you will stop attracting the birds to your yard and garden. They will go on, and you will miss them more than they will miss you. So feed your birds if you want to keep their songs and beauty into your life.
Do I need to maintain and clean my bird feeders?
Now you have the bird feeders mounted, food in their feeders, and you are enjoying them. The most important now is to keep the bird feeders clean because a dirty feeder harbors bacteria, mold and other disease that eliminate bird population. You will need to clean all feeders once a month. Make sure also that you dump the old seed out before you add more seed. This is very important!
If you are cleaning a hummingbird or oriole feeder make sure you clean it out throughly each time before you add the nectar. Use proper cleaning solution when you clean your feeders. Feeders can be sanitized with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts hot water. Also you can use a mild solution of dish detergent that is unscented as well. Clean inside and out, including the feeding ports, lids, perches, and platforms. Also, don’t forget to clean the hooks, poles, or any part where birds may perch or where feces may collect. To avoid any contamination use rubber gloves and a stiff brush to ensure thorough cleaning. A good old toothbrush also make a great brush to use for small parts and perches. Now, rinse thoroughly after cleaning and allow to dry before adding seed or food back into the bird feeder. After you are done, you will have clean dry feeders and you and your feathered friends will be happy.
So now you can curl up on your favorite chair in front of a roaring fire when it’s snowing outside or any other time of the year and enjoy your feathered friends for years to come. Bird feeding is a wonderful adventure and you will never be bored by trying different seeds and different feeder types and styles. Enjoy your yard and garden. There are so many cute, and beautiful bird feeders out there they will make great garden accents. So grab a feeder, and get ready for lots of new dinner guest.
Paula Jo is interested in everything about home and garden decor & accents and gardening and she likes writing articles about this, to share advices, tips and experiences.
This passion made her decide to open her own online store Clean Star – Home and Garden World for Home Decor Accents | Garden Accents | Outdoor Garden Decorations , Gifts and Collectibles.
Article from articlesbase.com
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Categories: Bird Feeders Tags: Backyards, Bird, Bird Feeder, Bird Food, Birder, Birdhouses, Decor, Decorative Element, Different Types Of Birds, Enjoyable Times, Feathered Friends, feeders, Garden, Garden Accents, Garden Bird, Garden Birds, Garden Decor, Home Patio, Just, Liveliness, Many Different Types, More, Pleasurable Experiences, Primitive Bird, Quality Bird Feeders, Than, Types Of Birds