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Up until a few years ago I never paid much attention to what kind of bird made what kind of chirp. Of course, I could recognize robins, sparrows, and owls like most people but I didn’t have much interest in birds.

Then I started noticing many different looking birds in my backyard. I hung up a bird feeder and started feeding my backyard birds. I heard about Project FeederWatch through Cornell Lab of Ornithology and started counting birds for one of their citizen science projects. November through April each year they ask people all over the United States and Canada to identify and count their backyard birds and then submit their counts to the project.

Thus, I began my foray into ornithology. I bought a bird identification guide and a pair of binoculars to help me identify the birds I was unfamiliar with and I started counting. I’ve found that the Peterson guides with color photos have helped me the most. Sibly also publishes excellent bird guides. Project FeederWatch furnishes a detailed color poster of birds common to parts of the country.

The header for this blog is a picture from my backyard here in northern California. I now provide food for my backyard birds using several types of feeders, tube, platform, hopper, suet, and hummingbird. From observation I’ve learned the kinds of seeds that are favored by various species of birds. The wider the variety of seeds and foods you provide the wider the variety of birds that will flock to your yard. You can also encourage some species and discourage other species by the types of bird seed you provide.

My feeders have also drawn other animals to my backyard like squirrels and racoons.

 This blog will talk about what I’ve learned about birdwatching and the kinds of birds that feed at my backyard feeders.


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