Backyard Birding Grows in Popularity
Backyard birding is growing in popularity as people try to continue follow social distancing restrictions at home.
“I think the thing I like about it is that every morning we have regular visitors. Every morning about 9 o’clock the squad flies in and its the same cardinal couples and the same sparrow couples and the same finch couples and its just like seeing your neighbors,” said Robbinsdale resident Jenny Edstrom.
The Three Rivers Park District notices the trend too.
“Right now folks are probably in their yard way more than they were in the past. Before they may have been running errands and doing those things and not taking advantage of kind of sitting still and enjoying their yard. A lot of folks are looking at those bird feeders they’ve got sitting in their garage or thinking maybe I should put a feeder up. To make it real easy get black oil sunflower seeds, the preferred seed of birds,” said Kim Nowicki of Three Rivers Park District.
Straight black oil sunflower seeds will draw a wide variety of birds. And some other entertaining little fellas too. Also, using straight sunflower seeds will ensure virtually zero waste. All of the seeds will be eaten. If you opt for a wild bird mix make sure you read the label on the bag. Many blends use a lot of filler such as red milo. Think of red milo as the turnips and beets of the bird food buffet bar. Nobody likes them and you’ll find a lot of them left over in your feeder. However both red and white millet are a favorite of ground feeders like juncos.
“I like seeing the changes that happen over the season. Like gold finches get really bland in the winter then when spring comes they are so bright and so cheerful,” said Edstrom.
“You are probably re-seeing that beautiful yellow gold finch. They’ve been here. We’re just celebrating that they’re in their breeding colors,” said Nowicki.
Choose Different Styles of Bird Feeders
Simple tube feeders accommodate multiple smaller birds for backyard birding. Larger house style feeders or even tube feeders with platforms give larger birds a place to perch.
“You can get your humming bird feeders out right now. They are already back in the are. Rose-breasted grosbeaks are due to come to your feeder,” said Nowicki.
“We’re seeing song birds coming up from the south that we don’t normally see at any other time. We have warblers now coming. We have different types of sparrows other than the normal house sparrows that we have,” said Edstrom.
“The joy is in trying something and observing, paying attention to what’s going on in your yard and seeing the patterns that the birds are using,” said Nowicki.