Keep it Green: Bird Watching Tips

March 17, 2010, 8:12 am

As the snow begins to melt and the flowers begin to bloom, now is the perfect time to shake off your cabin fever and go bird watching. Spring is an excellent time to go bird watching as several migratory species return home from the south, while many local residents drop their winter plumage. Whether planning a trip, or simply installing a bird feeder in the backyard, follow these simple tips to keep it green.

  • Pack out what you Pack In: When hiking or traveling be sure to pack out what you pack in. Each year waste and litter make their way into our nation’s parks causing serious problems for animals, plants and the fragile environments they call home. Great tips are available from Leave No Trace.
  • Use Green Equipment: Several companies now make green bird watching equipment including binoculars that are lead and arsenic free, and manufactured with chloride-free rubber. In addition to binoculars, consider investing in a field guide or journal that has been printed on recycled paper. If you’re tired of lugging around books all together, consider investing in an app for your smart phone. We love iBird (www.ibird.com), the most comprehensive and easy-to-use app available for the iPhone or iPod Touch.
  • Green Bird Feeder: Green bird feeders that are made of recycled plastics and glass offer will help you make your backyard an eco-friendly oasis. These products are more durable and last considerably longer than wood feeders and homes, which can rot quickly.
  • Create Your Own Bird Feeder: A simple milk jug can often make the perfect feeder. Another trick is to hollow out a large piece of fruit like a pineapple or grapefruit. You can fill this fruit with birdseed. Not only can the birds enjoy the seed but they can eat the fruit too and it’s also biodegradable!
  • Use Native Plants: When surrounding your feeder with various plants, be sure to use native plants. These species provide birds ample cover and also offer the perfect opportunity to nest. Follow this link to determine what plants are native in your area.
  • Don’t Waste Seed: Provide birds with the right variety of seed to ensure that none of it is wasted.