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Gardening for Bird Watching: How to Create a Bird-Friendly Habitat

Gardening for Bird Watching: How to Create a Bird-Friendly Habitat

If you’re a bird watcher, you know that attracting birds to your yard can be a rewarding experience. One way to do this is by creating a garden that birds will love. Gardening for bird watching is a great way to bring nature to your doorstep and enjoy the beauty of birds up close.

Understanding Bird Habitats

Types of Birds and Their Preferences

To attract birds to your garden, it’s important to understand the different types of birds and their preferences. Some birds prefer open spaces, while others like to nest in trees and shrubs. Here are a few examples:

  • Hummingbirds: These birds prefer nectar-producing flowers and feeders.
  • Sparrows: These birds like to nest in dense shrubs and bushes.
  • Bluebirds: These birds prefer open areas with short grass and perching spots.

By understanding the different types of birds and their preferences, you can create a garden that is attractive to a variety of species.

Plants That Attract Birds

Plants are an important part of any bird habitat. They provide food, shelter, and nesting sites for birds. Here are a few plants that are attractive to birds:

  • Sunflowers: These plants produce seeds that are a favorite food of many birds.
  • Coneflowers: These plants produce nectar that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
  • Black-eyed Susans: These plants produce seeds that are a favorite food of finches and sparrows.

When choosing plants for your garden, it’s important to consider the needs of the birds you want to attract. Choose plants that produce the food and shelter that your desired species prefers.

Setting Up Your Garden

If you want to attract birds to your garden, you need to set it up in a way that is appealing to them. Here are some tips on how to do that:

Choosing the Right Plants

Choosing the right plants is essential for attracting birds to your garden. You need to select plants that provide food, shelter, and nesting sites. Here are some plants that attract birds:

  • Sunflowers
  • Coneflowers
  • Black-eyed Susans
  • Hollyhocks
  • Wildflowers
  • Berries (such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)

Garden Layout for Maximum Visibility

The layout of your garden is also important for attracting birds. Here are some tips for setting up your garden for maximum visibility:

  • Create different levels in your garden by using trees, shrubs, and flowers of different heights.
  • Place bird feeders and bird baths in open areas where they can be easily seen.
  • Place birdhouses in areas that are sheltered from the wind and rain.
  • Create a water feature, such as a pond or fountain, to attract birds.

It’s also important to consider companion planting when building your garden layout. Companion planting involves planting different plants together that benefit each other. By doing companion planting, you will not only maximize visibility for attracting birds but also maximize your harvest

Maintaining Your Bird-Watching Garden

Seasonal Care

To keep your bird watching garden healthy and thriving, it’s important to provide the proper care and maintenance each season. Here are some tips to help you keep your garden in top shape:

  • Spring: In the spring, it’s time to start preparing your garden for the growing season. According to Stephanie from Backyard Gardeners Network, this is the perfect time to clean up any debris from the winter months, prune any dead or damaged branches, and add compost or fertilizer to the garden.
  • Summer: During the summer months, it’s important to keep your garden well-watered and free from weeds. You can also add mulch around your plants to help retain moisture and keep the soil cool.
  • Fall: In the fall, it’s time to start preparing your garden for the winter months. This is the perfect time to plant bulbs and perennials for next year, and to cut back any dead foliage.
  • Winter: During the winter months, it’s important to protect your garden from the cold weather. You can do this by covering your plants with blankets or burlap, and by adding a layer of mulch to the soil to help insulate the roots.

Dealing with Pests

Pests can be a major problem in any garden, but there are ways to deal with them without using harmful chemicals. Here are some tips to help you keep pests under control:

  • Use companion planting: Certain plants can help repel pests and attract beneficial insects. For example, planting marigolds around your garden can help repel aphids, while planting dill or fennel can attract ladybugs, which feed on aphids and other pests.
  • Use physical barriers: You can also use physical barriers to keep pests out of your garden. For example, you can cover your plants with netting to keep birds and squirrels from eating your fruits and vegetables.
  • Use natural remedies: There are many natural remedies that can help control pests in your garden. For example, spraying your plants with a mixture of water and dish soap can help control aphids, while sprinkling diatomaceous earth around your plants can help control slugs and snails.

Advanced Techniques

Attracting Rare Birds

If you want to attract rare birds to your garden, you need to provide them with the right environment. This means creating a habitat that is suitable for the specific species you want to attract. Research the bird’s natural habitat, food sources, and nesting preferences to create an ideal environment.

One way to attract rare birds is to provide a variety of food sources. Consider planting native plants and trees that produce fruits, berries, and nuts that are favored by the bird you want to attract. Install bird feeders and offer different types of seeds, suet, and nectar to attract a variety of birds.

Another way to attract rare birds is to provide a water source. Install a bird bath or small pond to provide a place for birds to drink and bathe. Make sure to keep the water clean and fresh to prevent the spread of disease.

Creating Bird Sanctuaries

Creating a bird sanctuary in your garden is a great way to attract and protect birds. A bird sanctuary is an area that is designed to provide birds with a safe haven where they can feed, nest, and rest without interference from humans or predators.

To create a bird sanctuary, you need to provide a variety of habitats. This includes areas for feeding, nesting, and roosting. Plant a variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers to provide cover and food sources. Install bird houses and nesting boxes to provide a safe place for birds to raise their young.

You also need to provide a safe environment for birds. This means minimizing the use of pesticides and other chemicals that can harm birds. Keep your garden free of litter and debris that can be hazardous to birds. Finally, make sure to keep your pets under control to prevent them from harming birds.


Incorporating bird-friendly gardening practices into your outdoor space can be a rewarding experience for both you and your feathered friends. By providing food, water, and shelter, you can attract a variety of bird species to your garden and create a thriving ecosystem.

Remember to choose native plants that provide food and shelter for birds, and avoid using pesticides and herbicides that can harm them. You can also add birdhouses, birdbaths, and feeders to your garden to provide additional resources for your feathered friends.

By gardening for bird watching, you can enjoy the beauty of nature right in your own backyard while also contributing to conservation efforts. Whether you’re a seasoned bird watcher or just starting out, creating a bird-friendly garden is a simple and enjoyable way to connect with nature and support local wildlife. So get out there and start gardening for the birds!

How to Choose a Birding Binocular?

How to Choose a Birding Binocular?

A birding binocular is an essential component of bird watching. In fact, it is claimed that such binoculars are an extension of the bodies of bird watchers. You can never get those fine details of birds without a good pair of binoculars. When it comes to birding, your pair of binoculars is what makes the really difference.

Once you spot a bird of interest, you need to keep it within the field of view and gather as many details as possible. However, this is not possible when using a poor quality binocular. A suitable birding binocular must be bright to show those fine details. You also need a binocular that focuses pretty fast to get that fast-moving bird.

You can enjoy birding more when you have a “bird worthy” binocular. So, how do you choose the best birding binoculars?

Factors to consider when choosing a birding binocular

Choose what suits your needs

Finding the best birding binocular is finding what best works for you. A binocular that works perfectly for somebody else might not work for you. You need to strike a good balance between optical performance, weight, size, and ergonomics. Look for a combination of features that best suits your needs.

Consider the price

When it comes to binoculars, price plays a crucial role. You’re not going to find the best rated binoculars for birding at a cheap price. Some of the top wildlife/birding binoculars will cost you in excess of $1000 dollars. Such binoculars have the best features and will usually outperform the rest.

However, this does not mean you cannot get a decent birding binocular at a good price range. Consider your needs and have a workable budget. For the most avid bird watchers paying the premium price is recommended. However, for occasional bird watching, you can get quality binoculars at a low price.

Consider the magnification

It is all a number’s game when choosing optic devices.  What is the best magnification for bird watching? For most beginners, the higher the magnification, the better the view. Well, this is not the case. A wide magnification reduces the field of view and brightness.

In fact, when it comes to bird watching, the field of view and brightness are more significant compared to the magnification. A higher magnification of 10X creates image distortion due to the rising air currents. For a better bird watching experience, choose binoculars with a magnification of 6x, 7x and at most 8X.


As we’ve seen, the brightness of the binocular is usually affected by magnification. You need binoculars with a large objective lens to make them bright. However, this also means having a heavy and bulk binocular. Choosing the right size objective lens means compromising on other features and creating a balance on what best works for you. Here are common objective lens sizes to consider:

  • 50mm and more: Support long-distance viewing at very low light conditions. However, the binoculars are large and bulky hence not suitable for extended use.
  • 40mm to 50mm: These are full-size binoculars that offer a balance between low light, portability, and performance.
  • 30mm to 40mm: Compact design binoculars and offering a reasonable amount of brightness. They are small, compact and best-suited for mid-range bird viewing.
  • 20mm to 30mm: Very compact and portable but poor view at low light conditions.

As you can see, the ideal objective lens comes down to what best works in your situation.

Type of binoculars

There are usually two basic designs of binoculars on the market. This is based on the type of prism that makes their optical construction. We usually have the traditional Porro prism and the modern roof-prism design. Porro prism binoculars were the most common but that is changing with the prices of roof-prism binoculars greatly dropping.

Porro prism: These ones usually feature small eyepiece and larger objective lenses. They are usually cheap and offer better quality images. However, they tend to be heavier and bulkier hence a little heavy to handle. This can be a huge factor for a comfortable bird watching experience. They also feature a less robust construction making them susceptible to damages.

Roof prism: These are more compact and ergonomic binoculars with a robust design. They are extremely lightweight hence easy to handle for extended periods. These binoculars can withstand damage and impacts due to robust construction. However, they tend to have poor image quality because they reflect light off internal surfaces. The image sharpness is also affected by a phenomenon called phase-shifting. However, such defects are corrected in high-quality roof-prism binoculars making them surpass the quality of Porro prism. But, this is at a higher price.

Eye relief

 You also need to check the eye relief and choose binoculars that will accommodate your eyes well. The best binoculars feature durable and easily adjustable eyecups. When the eyecups retract, they can accommodate persons that wear glasses.


These are the main things to consider when choosing a birding binocular. Most importantly, make sure you choose a binocular that works for you.

Birding Tips For Campers

Birding Tips For Campers

Do you love bird watching? The diversity of birds is one of the reasons people love to watch birds. There are 914 bird species in the USA and Canada alone. Bird lovers don’t just chase after common birds. They go for the rarest species. Most bird watchers are usually fans of traveling. They usually use their RVs to cross various states in their search for the rarest birds. This is why avid bird watchers use their RVs to experience the travel-friendly lifestyles.

You can easily travel to different places without missing the comfort of your home in an RV. For bird lovers without an RV, getting a camping tent is a great idea. Here, you get to camp deep in the woods and catch the rare species birds early in the morning. For most people, bird camping is getting a good bird watching binoculars and heading to the woods. However, you can make the experience funnier. Below, we discuss some birding tips for campers. These are tips that can make the birding experience enjoyable.

Get your gears ready

Unlike most hobbies outdoor activities like camping, birding does not require a lot of gear. All that one needs is a good pair of bird watching binoculars. For persons new to bird watching, most birds might look similar. However, with a closer look using a binocular, you can easily see distinctive features that the naked eyes cannot see. This is where the fun with bird watching comes in. You can clearly see minor differences in terms of feather colors.

Next, you need to have a book about birds with pictures on most bird species. The book will act as a guide of the birds in the specific camping ground. You can also have an extra notebook where you can take notes of the bird features. Note the special and unique features in the birds and compare them with what you have in your guide about books. You can always tick birds that you’ve watched and move to the next species.

Extra bird watching gears include things like waterproof notebooks, clothing and other essentials you might need on the camping trip.

Learn the secret of bird watching

There are several instances where you only hear bird calls without seeing it. This is why you need to perform prior research and decide on different bird species and their calls. You can also make use of the increasingly popular bird apps in the market. Bird apps like iBird Explorer Pro are popular tools that can help identify bird sounds. Holding your phone high towards the bird noise can help identify the species producing that sound.

This is a great feature that helps take the guesswork out of your birding experience. You can also enter details about the bird’s location, habitat, and size of the bird.

Learn bird watching etiquette

Even before heading into the wild, you need to learn and understand some basic rules on bird watching. Most bird watching rules are pretty simple but highly ignored. These are unwritten rules but it is worth knowing them before heading out to the field.

The first rule is to avoid loud noises. This is because loud noises will scare birds away. This is crucial especially when with other members that are looking to see the bird. You need to stay as quiet as possible. The only exception to this rule is using bird calling whistles to attract specific birds your way. You can also play a recording of the sound on your phone and play to attract the bird. However, when doing this, make sure you’re not infringing on other bird watchers.

You also need to respect other wildlife and their habitat. Make sure you don’t chase birds or other animals away. You should also avoid capturing any bird.

Join local bird clubs and organize tours

One of the best ways to enjoy bird watching is to do it with fellow bird watchers. You can do this by joining local bird clubs and organizing tours together. This is a great way to know some of the best birding grounds.

Buy a journal and take notes

If you’re looking to get serious about bird watching, then buy a journal and take notes while in the field. You need to write down your observation after watching every bird. Some of the notes to take down include the following:

  • The general size and shape of the bird
  • Distinctive markings and colors
  • Beak and facial characteristics
  • The size and shape of the wing
  • Flight patterns

In addition, you can take note of the bird’s location, habitat, and the bird’s call.

Final verdict

A little research and planning are crucial to an enjoyable bird watching experience. You need to know the bird migratory patterns and destinations. This also helps one maximize their knowledge and make the bird watching experience fun and enjoyable.