Beginner Bird Watching for Hikers

I love hiking. It doesn’t matter where I am or who I am with as long as I am out on a trail somewhere. One of the things I enjoy about it is being out in nature and having silence or just the sounds of some birds. Yes, it seems that no matter where you are hiking you will almost always see or hear some birds. Unlike the big mammals, which are harder to see, birds are ubiquitous. Here are some simple tips to help hikers learn how to be better bird watchers and get more out of their time in nature.

First of all, it is important to stay quiet and listen (unless you are in an area that is heavily used by bears). Birds are always talking and listening. This means that they can hear if there are people around, which can sometimes cause them to be quiet. To prevent them from being quiet you should try to be quiet yourself and listen to your surroundings. You may surprise yourself at how many different kinds and numbers of birds that you can hear at any one place. Once you hear where the noise from the birds is coming from the trick becomes trying to see the bird.

Next, try to walk or hike slowly. If you go for a fast hike or walk you are not going to see as many birds as if you were going slower. The best way to see and hear many birds is to walk slowly and pay attention to the sounds and movements along the trail. If you are trying to get some good exercise and want to go fast, then you could try to alternate your pace. For example, try going really fast for 15 minutes, then slow down and walk for 5 or 10 minutes, then go fast again for 15 and so on.

If you still want to hike fast then another option for you, which is even better than just walking slow is to sit still. Actually, this is a great idea for anyone whatever pace he or she is hiking at. Pick a nice spot somewhere off of the trail and just sit or stand still for several minutes. This could be on a rock, a log, or under a tree. By sitting still and keeping your eyes and ears open you will give yourself a chance to see or hear all the birds in the area. The birds may even become accustomed to your presence and begin to get active again.

Fortunately, you can really pick any spot to sit and look for birds because birds live everywhere in all habitats. You can see birds near water, in forests, open meadows, or high up in the mountains. Keeping that in mind, the best places to see the most birds are spots at the edge of two different habitats, such as on the edge of a forest next to a meadow. Another excellent spot to see lots of birds is near water, such as along a creek, river, lake, or a wetland.

While you are walking along or sitting still you should always watch for movement. Often you may just see a flash of movement in the corner of your eye. That movement may turn out to just be some leaves blowing in the wind or it could turn out to be a bird darting from one bush to another. If you hold still and look towards that spot you may see the bird move again. It can be hard to see a bird holding still on a bush or tree. But, once that bird moves you will easily see it and by following its movement you can see where it lands.

Birds tend to be more active at certain times of day, which makes them easier to spot because they are flying or moving around a lot. Luckily for hikers the best times of day to see birds are also good times to be out hiking. The best times to see birds are early in the morning or in the evening, since those are when most birds are the most active. I love hiking in the morning or evening when it is not too warm out and you may even get the added bonus of seeing a sunset.

Following these simple tips will help you see lots of birds the next time you go for a hike. The next step is to learn how to start identifying those birds you are seeing.

Goldfinch Feeders, World’s Best 5 Design Tips

These brilliant wild canaries in their springtime yellow colors can flock to goldfinch feeders in the hundreds. You can keep these birds in your backyard using simple, lifelong techniques. Goldfinch feeders come in a wide variety of designs and materials.

The first bird feeder made for the retail market was the tube bird feeder. This simple design featured a clear, plastic tube with holes, perches and a hangar. From this beginning came the specialty wild bird feeders. The goldfinch feeders are the result of these upgrades.

For many backyard birders, the seed of choice to attract goldfinches is thistle, or nyjer seed. This high fat content seed is about the size of a wisp of hair. Inside is a meaty treat for your wild birds. Using a standard tube feeder for this rather expensive seed can be extremely wasteful. Birds, by their very nature, are messy eaters. They will spill 10 seeds for every one seed they choose. The regular size holes in a standard tube feeder allow goldfinches to waste an enormous amount of thistle seed as they eat. If other birds use this same feeder, they may shovel out the thistle seed as they look for other seed choices. Thistle tube feeders were designed to help eliminate this wasteful spilling created by wild birds.

There are 5 important design features to look for when choosing your next goldfinch feeder:

1.) Look for a tube style bird feeder with tiny holes, about the size of a pencil point. The world’s best goldfinch feeders will have a tear shape hole instead of a round hole. These special portals force the wild birds to remove one thistle seed at a time, completely eliminating the shoveling habit of some birds. This simple design feature, alone, will save you money from wasted seed.

2.) The portals birds eat from should contain a metal shield around the feeding holes. Birds tend to peck at feeders in search of food. This constant pecking will enlarge the tiny holes on the plastic tubes of standard goldfinch feeders. The metal shields protect the tear shaped holes from enlarging any further. Remember, you’ll save a bundle of money if the seed stays in the feeder and not on the ground.

3.) Look at the bottom of the goldfinch feeder. If it is a tube style, be sure that the last holes are at the very bottom of the feeder. Birds can only obtain seed that is near the holes. Better still, properly designed goldfinch feeders will stop nyjer seed from going below the last portals. Some models have an inside shield that stops seed from going all the way to the bottom. Reason being, any seed below the bottom holes will never be touched and create a moldy mess. This will contaminate the rest of the seed in the goldfinch feeder.

4.) The world’s best goldfinch feeders will allow you to attach a tray to the bottom. Trays are very useful in keeping most seed shells off the ground. Yes, thistle seeds have shells that the finches have to crack open. Seed trays allow more birds to eat at the same time, increasing the attractiveness of your backyard to the large flocks of goldfinches.

5.) Cleaning a goldfinch feeder can be a tricky situation. Over a short period of time, compacted thistle seed turns into a cement-like substance that is impossible to remove. Choose a feeder with a removable bottom for simple cleaning. The best goldfinch feeders allow you to remove the base with a simple twist of the hand, no tools are needed.

In many areas of the country, goldfinches will be happy to entertain humans year round. Clean feeders and fresh thistle seed are the two most important ingredients backyard birders must provide to keep these magnificent wild birds around.

Best Tips For Outwitting Bird Feeder Hogs Like Starlings And Grackles

Seeing a soiree of starlings, a bevy of blackbirds, or a gaggle of grackles descending upon my backyard feeding station sends me into a state of panic! It just makes me cringe to think of all that expensive black oil sunflower seed ending up in their stomachs instead of my beautiful songbirds’ bellies.

But the situation isn’t hopeless, far from it. Here are 7 remedies to keep these feeder hogs from wiping out your precious seeds. You may need to use one or more to ensure success.

1. Take down your feeders for a week or two. Hopefully these hungry birds will see that the easy meal has evaporated and move on to another place. This option should only be considered if it’s summertime. Otherwise try one of the other remedies below.

2. Having large beaks can be at once a blessing and a curse. Opt for a caged feeder that is meant to accommodate smaller-beaked birds only. Or there are small plastic satellite-type feeders which grackles and starlings as well as pigeons, mourning doves and crows cannot access.

3. Do not use a ground feeder or scatter seeds on the ground for the birds. Flocks of invasive foragers find this irresistible. Also, be sure to rake up all the stuff that falls from the bird feeders on a regular basis so it can’t accumulate.

4. Use grey striped sunflower seeds. Grackles especially have softer beaks and find it impossible to remove the outer hard shells of these seeds. Also, do not use cracked corn or millet, which are favorites of all the feeder hogs.

5. If your suet feeders are the entree du jour, try using those clever upside-down suet feeders. None of the feeder hogs can figure out how to cling to them and chow down, while upside down.

6. Using tube-style feeders will limit the number of birds that are able to use them at the same time. That might prove frustrating enough to send your big eaters like house sparrows and mourning doves on their way.

7. Feeders that close when larger, heavier birds or squirrels land on them can foil a lot of big birds at once. Squirrels however will eventually figure out how to get around the perch and be able to dine at their leisure. As with all pests, they are clever, tenacious and persistent. That is the key to a squirrel’s success!

Try any or all of these remedies to see what works on your particular bird feeder ’emptier’. Even if you have to employ more than one, it will be worth it to keep the majority of your precious seeds for the beautiful songbirds.

On the other hand, grackles, blackbirds and starlings eat a ton of flies. They gorge themselves on everything from the blue-bottle fly to the common house fly. They are very fond of gypsy moths and their caterpillars as well.

Even though they are a major bird feeder problem, I have to say I love the starlings’ iridescent purple and blue feathers, with all those little white spots that look like stars in a night sky. Starlings are closely related to myna birds, and are very gifted mimics. They can imitate humans as well as other birds.

All of these bird feeder hogs are preyed upon by hawks, owls and falcons. So if you have a neighborhood hawk patrolling, chances are these pest birds won’t be emptying your feeders for very long!

Guide On How To Have A Great Experience With Your Deer Feeder

Deer feeders help you to attract deer to a given area so that you can easily view or hunt them. If hunting, the feeders give you an opportunity to observe the animals and choose the ones that meet the wildlife management criteria.

Tips on how to have a great experience with your deer feeder

For you to have a great experience with your feeder you need to consider a number of tips that include:

Install the feeder at the right place: Where you locate the feeder has a great impact on your success rate. The location of the feeder should provide you with good visibility, the easy approach into the wind, good deer traffic, easy access to water and good escape routes. It’s common for mice, bears, squirrels and birds to attempt to use the feeders. To avoid attracting other animals other than the deer, you should use varmint guards and feed pens. You can also consider hanging the feeder on a stand that is low enough for only the deer to reach.

Invest in high-quality feeders: High-quality feeders not only last for a long time they also reduce wastage. With a high-quality unit, you provide the feed to the deer when they want to eat. Deer feed at certain times during the day. A high-quality unit will be able to tell the right time to release the feed without your direct involvement.

Be wise in your food choices: There is no way that you will attract deer if you don’t use the right food. To be successful you should use food that the animals love to eat. The animals love eating a blend of grains such as deer pellets and corn. If you are interested in the health of the animals, you should provide a variety of grains. You should regularly replace or refill the feeder depending on the weather conditions and number of deer feeding.

Feed the animals at the right time: Different deer feed at different times. Some will feed at specific times of the day while others will feed at all times as long as you are providing them with food. You should research and find the best time to feed your animals. Experts recommend that you start feeding the deer during the cooler months of the year. During this time the food is scarce. If the animals keep on coming you should provide them with food the entire year but if they feed at a certain time, you should provide feed them only at this time.


Deer feeders are a must have for any hunter or animal lover. To have an easy time you should use high-quality feeders. You should also install the units at the right location. Also remember to use the right food and feed the animals at the right time.