I’m not usually one for New Year’s Resolutions but as I reflect on my birding adventures over the last year I realize there were several things I wanted to do but never got around to. Attending the Festival of Cranes and celebrating the return of Sandhill cranes to Bosque del Apache is one terrific example. And I can’t for the life of me remember why I didn’t make that event. So this year I’ve decided to be more intentional in my birding pursuits by proactively planning activities I know will enhance my birding adventure! And I’ve decided to make sure I do one new thing each month. So, with the New Year upon us, here is my list of self-promises for the year:
- Maintain and update regularly our range map of the birds in our backyard, tracking the bird species that visit each month and then comparing those visitors to last year’s visitors in the same month.
- Keep an eagle eye out for new bird species visiting our backyard and learning as much about them as possible.
- Visit a local birding hot-spot over a weekend or day trip and identify birds we don’t usually get in our own backyard.
- Attend a birding festival I haven’t been to yet, and more specifically attend the Festival of Cranes!
- Encourage new species to visit our feeders by placing out a feeder designed just for them.
- Attract new bird species to our backyard by adding a new and different food source; this year I’ll try fresh fruit.
- Determine to see a bird I’ve been wanting to see and make the necessary arrangements to do so; the Barn owl is coming to mind at the moment.
- Join a local Audubon chapter and get involved in their events and activities.
- Plant a bird-friendly hedge, tree, or climbing plant that is native to our region.
- Learn to make a DIY food source like home-made suet.
- Freshen up our backyard by adding a new garden accessory, like a new bird house, feeder, or bath.
- Visit a birding retail store and see what’s new on the market.
What do you think? Any of these resonate with you? If so, feel free to borrow any of my resolutions for yourself. I don’t mind.
And from my backyard to yours… Happy Birding!
Did you know? The average wild bird weighs less than two nickels, and winter can be a very punishing time for our backyard friends. This explains why in 1994, John Porter, Illinois’ 10th District Congressman read a resolution that February would become National Bird Feeding Month. His proclamation was designed to encourage people to feed wild birds throughout the entire month when food sources are most scarce.
In fact, millions of wild bird enthusiasts now traditionally make special efforts in February to feed, watch and protect wild birds. Over 50 million people regularly feed wild birds in the USA, long recognized as one of the most popular outdoor activities for adults and children too.
Want to show your support? Here are some ways you can get involved:
- Help spread the word by sharing this post with everyone you know.
- Comment about National Bird Feeding Month on your Social Media Platforms.
- Take pictures of birds at your feeder and post them on your Social Media Platforms using #natlbirdfeedingmonth.
- Familiarize yourself with our unsung heroes and share your knowledge with others.
- Stock up on bird seed and suet to keep your existing feeders full throughout the month.
- Make this easy DIY bird feeder to pass out to friends and colleagues on Valentine’s Day.
- Give an inexpensive feeder and wild bird seed to someone you love.
- Add something new to your backyard station (i.e. birdhouse, feeder, birdbath).
- Symbolically adopt a bird through the National Wildlife Federation adoption program.
- Purchase your “I Love My Backyard Birds” women’s Tee to show your love of birds.
- Host a bird-watching party in your own backyard.
- Sign up for the Great Backyard Bird Count which will be held in February.
February is one of my favorite months of the year, and even more so because it’s National Bird Feeding Month. In fact, just last weekend I purchased another 80 lbs. of wild bird seed to stock up. Yep, we’re going through that much in about a month’s time, so if the birds aren’t in your backyard they’re probably in mine. Lol.
Anyway, I’m hoping you’ll jump on my bandwagon and do your part to feed the birds this month and promote backyard birding as and educational and environmental adventure. Because, February really is for the Birds! Literally.