For some time, you've delighted in the many bird discoveries you’ve made in your backyard. But would you call yourself a birder?
To be one, you don't necessarily have to travel with field glasses and a well-worn guide in hand. If you have taken time to identify an occasional new bird, you can rightfully be called a backyard birder. In fact, one in five Americans can call themselves a birder, and the vast majority of birders do their birding at home!
Benefits of birding
Birding is a hobby with many upsides, whether you keep it to neighborhood observations or embark on a guided birding expedition.
This is a hobby you can participate in just about any time of the day, any day of the year. Any time you interact with the outdoors, whether you look out the window, walk to your car or go hiking, is an opportunity for a bird sighting.
And birds are teachers of nature. Unlike other wildlife, birds live everywhere. To understand them, all it takes is a little knowledge and a willingness to observe.
This spring, why not take a little extra time to learn more about the birds in your neighborhood?
Get involved: If you find a pair of birds nesting in your yard or neighborhood, sign up at NestWatch and log your observations as part of a citizen science panel.
Tools: Pick up a field book or download a birding app to your smart phone or tablet, so you can easily identify new species whether you're watching your feeder or out traveling. We especially like the one from Cornell Lab of Ornithology called Merlin Bird ID.
Events: Plan a road trip and find a bird festival happening in your state or region. These are welcoming to both novices and experienced birders, and their programs are filled with field trips and informative talks that will give you a new appreciation of what your part of the country has to offer.
As you widen your horizons, try adding Lyric Supreme Mix to your feeder. Because it's designed to attract as many species as possible, it just might set the perfect conditions to bring a few new birds to your feeder this spring!