Make Your Own Birdbath

American Goldfinch, a Northern Cardinal and a House Finch Enjoy the Birdbath.
American Goldfinch, a Northern Cardinal and a House Finch Enjoy the Birdbath.

One of the best ways to attract birds to your yard is to offer water. Most of us don’t have a yard with a pond or stream to naturally provide water, so we need to find another way. While you could of course purchase a birdbath designed for the purpose, my homemade birdbaths cost less than $10 each and the birds are as happy with them as if I’d spent $300 each.

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Backyard Bird Photos: Basic Tips

Carolina Wren at the Bird Feeder
Carolina Wren at the Bird Feeder

Birds are wonderfully photogenic and endlessly fascinating. If you enjoy birdwatching, sooner or later you are going to want to take pictures of the birds you watch. For many of us, bird photography can become an integral part of birding. Taking pictures of birds can be a challenge though. Birds go about their business and don’t always sit still for a picture. Here are a few things I’ve learned as I’ve spent time taking pictures of birds in my yard and on birding trips.

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The Birds of Spring

Pair of Killdeers Looking for Love at Patuxent Research Refuge
Pair of Killdeers Looking for Love at Patuxent Research Refuge

Yesterday was the first day of spring. Even when the temperatures are still cold and winter-like, the birds seem to know that spring is here. If you pay attention, you can find signs of spring bird activity in your own backyard or at local birding spots. I’ve seen quite a few signs of spring in the past few weeks.

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Landscaping For Birds: Planning

Backyard Flowers
Backyard Flowers in Last Summer’s Flower Garden

Here in Maryland, we’ve had that little March taste of spring that tries to trick you into going to the local nursery to buy plants. I know that although the local nurseries typically start gearing up around March 1, even now, three weeks later, it is really a month too early to start planting most things around here. So to feed my spring fever and keep myself from impulse purchases, I am instead working on my plans to landscape my yard to create more habitat for birds (as well as look really cool.) Planning such a project is a little intimidating but is also interesting and a lot of fun.

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Cool Places to Learn About Birds Online

Wood Duck Pair Preening (Buddy Attick Park, Greenbelt MD)
Wood Duck Pair Preening (Buddy Attick Park, Greenbelt MD)

Birds are endlessly fascinating creatures and there is always more to learn about them. One wonderful thing about the internet is that there is a lot of knowledge out there from top sources. You just need to know where to look (or be willing to spend some time web surfing to find them.)

Here are four spots online that I think you might enjoy. The first is a recent article about bird intelligence. The second is a resource for forecasting what birds you might expect to be migrating through your region of the US in the coming week. Another is a nifty way to figure out what bird lost that feather you found on the ground today. And the last is a fun tool that teaches you a bit about bird anatomy (helpful when bird field guides use descriptive terms that aren’t familiar to you.) Sound interesting? Read on!

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Birds Choice Hanging Open Platform Feeder Review

White-Breasted Nuthatch, House Finches, American Goldfinch & Northern Cardinal in Feeder
White-Breasted Nuthatch, House Finches, American Goldfinch & Northern Cardinal Eating Sunflower Hearts in Birds Choice Hanging Platform Feeder (Dome Purchased Separately)

In the past year, as my bird-watching passion has grown, I’ve purchased quite a few bird feeders. You don’t have to have a zillion feeders of course, but I have found that having a variety of feeders can increase both the variety and the number of birds that come to visit and that’s what makes it fun! Some of the feeders have been clear winners from the start. Others have needed some tweaking to make them work for the birds in my yard. If you have considered purchasing a hanging platform bird feeder, read on!

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Where to Hang a Suet Feeder?

Red-Bellied Woodpecker Eating Suet
Male Red-Bellied Woodpecker Eating Suet

Location, Location, Location. This is as true when it comes to bird feeders as it is to the restaurants we humans like to visit. You can have a really great, well-designed bird feeder with fresh appealing food in it and get no or very few birds if the location is wrong. I’ve found that finding the right spot can make all the difference. Here is what I’ve learned about where to place suet feeders. It may just give you some ideas on where to place your own!

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