Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Learning about birds

I've had a lot of fun learning more about birds over the last decade.  I don't consider myself a birder.  I'm a wildlife gardener, plant ecologist, and naturalist.  So, I'm always interested in learning more about the natural world, birds included.

Being familiar with the birds in your garden and who visits the feeders is a wonderful part of gardening;  it's like recognizing the voices of your friends on the phone (or via Skype!)  Our landscape (once a fairly dull and barren landscape of lawn punctuated by a few trees) didn't harbor much bird diversity.

But as we've added trees, shrubs, mixed shrub borders and hedges, we've essentially created a diversity of habitats in our acre and a half, supporting the bird and wildlife diversity that we have now.

I'm sitting in on a Field Ornithology class this semester -- a benefit of being associated with a university as an employee-- and am excited about the habitat/birding/ field recognition approach. I already 'know' a lot of feeder and garden birds, but am less familiar with the inhabitants of our varied habitats in the Piedmont and Mountains (of the Southern US).

It'll be fun to learn more.

2 comments:

  1. I look forward to hearing about your class. Have you found any 'new' birds are in your yard? I got the 250 Bird Call book for my birthday. When the dog isn't barking at the invisible bird in the house, I am trying to learn some of the different songs.

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  2. Janet,
    I realized when I broadcast seeds on the snow both in the mountains and the piedmont that I was attracting many more birds than usual. Dark-eyed juncos and white-throated sparrows were particularly keen on these seeds, and I had to remind myself of their identity! They don't normally visit the feeders.

    But I'm looking forward to ferreting out the pine warblers, etc. that lurk around elsewhere!

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