Stunning Popularity of Bird Feeding February 19 2018
So when did bird feeders become so popular?
There's now a National Bird Feeding Month (not day or week) and the famous Great Backyard Bird Count which has over 30,000 bird checklist submissions today alone. Oh and by the way, 2018 IS the Year of the Bird!
The annual Bird Count started in 1998 and now celebrates its 20th year. Folks from all over the world participate not just for fun- but to be a part of citizen science as well. Over 122,765 checklists for this weekend with 5700 species observed, one could say backyard birding is a hobby seeing stunning growth.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (in partnership with Bird Studies Canada and Audubon) promotes programs like Feeder Watch, Nest watch, e-Bird, Celebrate Urban Birds and others with many apps to promote stewardship of habitat and well... birds! Their website is filled with useful and fun info for all ages. For the novice to advanced, it's a mesmerizing site that's way better than any social media place!
Be it the rapid advances in technology, the constant hounding of marketing and advertising, the daily chaos of life... birding is just the exact antithesis! It's difficult to pinpoint, but gardening and creating a bird-friendly habitat are the opposite of everything we're supposed to do or forced to endure.
Exotic birding tours have grown by leaps and bounds... everyone wants to go! The backyard birding industry has seen growth like no other hobby in the past few years. For most of us, just hanging a bird feeder in the yard or setting up a simple bird bath will bring the same reward as far as that zen-like, innate connection to nature. It cures the blues, soothes the soul and just makes you happy! From the comfort of your home or deck, you needn't spend a fortune. Make your own bird food, plan landscaping for beneficial habitat, or set out some fresh water to attract a few beaked buddies.
How does one even explain it? Once you start to really notice, it's addictive for sure... but in the healthiest way :)
Check out Cornell's website here: http://www.birds.cornell.edu
Consider joining for a small donation to support their mission and you can participate in any of the programs... most are free for members!
Hang a bird feeder and see who visits, or better yet- fresh water in a bird bath is the easiest way to entice some feathered friends. A simple plant saucer works great, just 1 to 2 inches of water is ideal. A very shallow depth is always best for birds to wade and bathe safely. If your birdbath is tall or deeper, just don't fill it to the top.
Check this happy chickadee in just one inch of water (photo courtesy of Nina Graff).
Start to take notice of bird species and song and see if you're not quickly drawn to great hobby that's backyard birding... we dare ya!