Tips for Bird Watching in the Winter
If you fell in love with the relaxing activity of bird watching right before the winter hit, then you’re probably quite sad to see the birdies go. However, there are quite a few things you can do to still set your sights on some glorious birds—even in the colder months. While the chilly months seem like the worst time to go out and watch birds, it actually provides an incredible opportunity to see birds more easily. Check out these tips for bird watching in the winter—don’t throw away the chance for some extra calm this time of year!
Set Out Feeders
This tip and the one following are some of the most important to follow if you want to draw birds toward your yard. Winter is a tough time for a lot of birds for finding both food and finding water. If you want to see them, provide food and water. If you don’t already have them, set out feeders and make sure they are constantly filled so birds can consider you a reliable food source.
Heat Your Water
Make sure that you offer a water source as well. A lot of people struggle with this during the winter, whether it’s because of freezing pipes or just frozen water in general. Purchase a water heater so that doesn’t happen and you always have a supply! Providing both food and water will help bring birds into your area for you to watch.
Make a List of Winter Birds
In the summer you probably have a list of birds in the area, and making that list is going to be even more important in the winter. Do your homework so you can get the most out of every minute you spend in the winter chill. Jot down every bird species that is prominent year-round or in the winters in your area.
Head to a Local Birding Sanctuary
If you’re feeling adventurous, go beyond your backyard and head to see some of the more dynamic species you wouldn’t see in an urban area. Head out to local preserves, Audubon sanctuaries, and even wildlife refuges to spot various species. Make sure you dress warmly; the longer you wait, the better your chances of seeing species you never thought you would.
Keep Your Distance
Especially if you’re leaving the comfort of your home, make sure that you keep your distance. An important pointer no matter the time of year, giving birds space is the key to having them stick around. Birds live on the edge of starvation and cold during the winter, so do your best to let them go about their business undisturbed.
Create a Log Book
Whether at home or out at a refuge, bring a notebook to mark which species you spot, and create a log for reference. This will help you figure out what you’ll see when, and what time of day you’re more likely to see them. Not only will this help you during the winter, but it will help you through the years to come.
Watch Out for Bird Habitats
Finally, watch out for the different bird habitats you’re sure to see. Whether you’re at a refuge, in your backyard, or on a walk around the neighborhood, these habitats are key to birds’ survival during the winter. Do your research and figure out the most common habitats for different birds in the area, and then keep your distance and don’t disturb them.