Discovering Backyard Bird Watching: A Beginner’s Guide

Backyard Bird Watching - Young Cardinal bird on the feeder

Bird watching is an inexpensive hobby that people of all ages can enjoy. A few simple supplies will ensure lots of discovery.

Attracting Birds to Your Yard

Birds do seem to visit every backyard. But there’s no doubt that birds prefer yards that provide the things they need. If you take a little effort to add feeding stations, water, and nesting supplies and places to your yard, you will be ensured of more visits from your feathered friends.

Birds like to have places to perch and nest–so trees and bushes are ideal. Certain plants are natural food sources. For instance, hummingbirds like bright-colored tubular shaped flowers that provide the nectar they love.

What You Need:



Birds are skittish, so you probably won’t be able to get too close. That’s not a problem though – just purchase a cheap set of binoculars and you will have a great view of the feathered creatures that visit your backyard – even from inside your house!


Add a variety of bird feeders to your outdoor space. Certain birds prefer particular types of bird seed. Some even like nuts and suet. Having a variety will encourage various birds to add your backyard to the places they visit regularly.


Birds need water to drink and to splash around in. Moving water, such as in a fountain, is best, but your feather friends will appreciate any type of water source you provide.


Although trees and other plants can offer shelter for birds, a birdhouse can invite birds to make your backyard their home. Do a little research about the birds in your region to ensure you are providing the right kind of house and that it is placed in the right location.

Bird Guide

As you watch birds it is only natural to want to know more about them. You will appreciate having a bird guide handy. It’s a great way to turn this fun activity into an educational opportunity.

Backyard Bird Watching - Rufous Hummingbird (selasphorus Rufus)

Give bird watching a try. It’s a great hobby that every family member can take part in. Why not take some photos of the beautiful birds that visit your yard? You can use them for scrapbooking and other creative purposes.

Bird watching is not just for warm months. Many birds stay in one location all year long. In fact, bird feeders are extremely appreciated during the winter months when finding natural food sources can be difficult. You can wake up to the sound of birds singing every day of the year!

Debbie Allen is a regular contributor at Package From Santa blogs. In addition to writing about Christmas topics, like  letters to Santa , she also writes about various issues related to family life.