Friday, December 31, 2010

#31 Field Tip: Take a New Birder Birding

Make a New Year's Resolution - Be a Mentor.

Take the opportunity to bring a new birder, young or old, with you the next time you go out birding in the field. You may spark a lifelong interest in wildlife, or at least enjoy a wonderful day together in the outdoors exploring nature.
photo © adrian binns

Saturday, December 25, 2010

#30 Backyard Tip: Don't Let Your Birdbath Freeze

These Mourning Doves are waiting for their Christmas present!

During the cold winter months birdbaths can freeze up quickly. Don't forget to keep your birdbath filled daily with fresh water, or purchase a heated bird bath (or heater) to keep the water from freezing.

photo © adrian binns

Friday, December 17, 2010

#29 Conservation Tip: Christmas Bird Count (CBC's)

The long-running Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is one of the most important conservation activities ever, and the oldest wildlife census on the planet! Sponsored by the National Audubon Society, this 3-week long, international event brings together groups of birders to count individual numbers and species within designated count circles. Occurring annually from mid-Dec to early-Jan, the CBC offers a fun-filled holiday tradition to enjoy with friends and family. Over 100 years of data has been collected from CBC reports, reflecting important species trends, populations and distributions. CBC data has been used by scientists and law-makers to implement critical decisions about conservation policies; the ban on the toxic pesticide DDT was imposed in part because of CBC data.

The 111th Christmas Bird Count takes place on December 14, 2010 thru January 5, 2011. You can volunteer to participate by contacting your local bird club, or checking the website. You'll spend a day birding in the field with friends, while contributing incredibly important information for science and conservation. A winning combination!
photo © adrian binns

Friday, December 10, 2010

#28 Backyard Tip: Hand Feeding Birds

Want to have a wild bird land on your hand?

Try sitting still near your feeding station, putting a little seed in your palm, and holding your arm outstretched and still. With a lot of luck and patience, there is a possible chance that a chickadee, nuthatch or titmouse may very well land in the palm of your hand, pause a moment, and snatch up a seed.

Patience and practice is key. Wintertime is the best season to try this trick, and you may experience birds in a breathtaking new light!
photo © adrian binns

Friday, December 3, 2010

#27 Optics Tip: Protect the Eyepiece

Most good binoculars come with an eyepiece cap, also known as a rain-guard. You should immediately attach this rain-guard to the left neck strap and let it hang there, so that it will always be available to quickly fit over the eyecups, and protect the eyepiece when out birding.

This is especially handy if it rains, or the wind whips up fine particles of sand, or if you happen to be eating a sandwich!
photo © adrian binns