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Six Simple Steps to Backyard Bird Watching


Bird watching is a favorite pastime of many birders and typically goes hand-in-hand with daily bird feeding. In fact, in 2011 more people went bird watching than went hunting according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. So why not take advantage of your bird feeding knowledge and interest in wild birds through bird watching? Bird watching is a great excuse to get out into nature, join local bird and nature walks, and enjoy wild birds year round through activities like the Audubon Society’s Great Backyard Bird Count.  

We’re also encouraging our Perky-Pet® friends to spread the appreciation of the outdoors and all the great pleasures that come along with bird feeding. Now that school is starting back up, it’s a perfect time to introduce, or continue, bird watching with kids. Because it’s important to keep kids interested in nature, there’s no better way than with bird watching in your yard and area. We’re offering our bird loving friends these six steps to get you, and the kids, closer bird watching bliss!  

1. Decide what species are seen most often in your area.

The first step to backyard bird watching is to decide what species are seen most often near you. Whether you’re bird watching in your back yard or at a nearby park or wetland, the types of birds to see will vary. Do you research and switch up your bird watching locations so that you can expand your repertoire and see beautiful, new wild birds.  

2. Figure out what species you, and the kids, want to attract.

Whether it be a Blue Jay or a Dark-eyed Junco, let the sky be the limit; literally! Do your research, consult field guides, and review the online wild bird library to determine what feathered friend you’d like to see at the end of your binoculars. Remember, bird watching isn’t a one-time occurrence, so don’t feel that you only have a limited amount of time to spot the wild bird on the top of your list.  

3. Gather the appropriate supplies for bird feeding in your yard.

Start bird watching in your yard. To attract a wide variety of wild birds, make sure that you beef up your arsenal with the right bird feeding supplies. So, what supplies are on the top of our list?

4. Equip yourself with the appropriate bird watching essentials.

When it comes to adult bird watching, and youth bird watching, the tools used are not that different. The most important thing about bird watching with kids is to make sure they’re in comfortable clothing, have plenty of sunscreen, and you’re ready with some water and snacks. But besides those necessities, we’ve got some more bird watching essentials to share with you:

  • Field guides - a perfect essential for the older kids 
  • Binoculars - have a few young kids that bird watch sporadically? Use a few empty toilet paper rolls 
  • A pen and paper to record characteristics and mannerisms of the wild birds that you see 

5. Make plans to go bird watching.

Life can get busy, especially during the fall with school, extra-curricular activities, and life in general, but don’t let that stop you from bird watching. Instead, plan a day throughout each month to dedicate to bird watching. The best times to see wild birds in the area are early in the morning or late in the afternoon, around dusk, when birds are feeding and frolicking around their habitats. We also recommend starting near your own home; whether it be your backyard, a close neighborhood, or a park, the only thing that matters is that you’re out there!  

6. Share, share, share!

We can speak for our other bird loving friends when we say, share your bird watching results! We here at Perky-Pet® love to hear about your bird watching, and feeding, activities. Have a question, we’ve got a large network of birders that may have a thing or two to say about your recent adventure. You know what they say - the people that bird watch together, stay together!

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