After a long winter mostly stuck indoors due to cold weather, why not take up a new spring hobby and go outside bird watching. These spring birding tips for beginners will come in handy and make you want to explore your neighbourhood and local parks in Ottawa.
We hear them before we see them, and even if we know absolutely nothing about birds, we can recognize that there are different bird songs in the air in the spring.
This is the time of the year when everyone’s attention turns to the outdoors, so it’s only natural that we should notice the wildlife too. The important thing about birding in the spring is that it is a migratory time of year, and birds may pass through your area, or nest in your back yard tree for a day or two and then move on. If you would like to know how to start bird watching, read on!
Etiquette Birding Tips
When bird watching in Ottawa, please follow birding etiquette as specified in the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club (OFNC) code of conduct, as well as any rules posted at the sites. If you are looking for a location where birds where sighting, OFNC regularly gathers and shares recent sighting information. They also share a list of the best locations where you can go birding around Ottawa.
What You Need To Buy When Taking Up Birding
If you are planning on seriously taking up birding, you will first of all need to invest in two or three things: a good reference book with pictures, descriptions, and migration routes, and a good set of binoculars. It’s also a good idea to have a camera. A good camera with a zoom lens can be of enormous help in documenting your finds. It can also help with identifying a bird that you don’t recognize. You can get a good picture and classify it later.
Birding doesn’t have to be a scientific study or difficult. Bird watching for beginners should be enjoyable and fun. It’s a collection of sorts, only you check the species off your list instead of catching and collecting them.
Right at home, you can put up a couple of DIY bird feeders in your backyard. These should have been up all winter, but if they haven’t, then put them up early in the spring to catch the migratory birds as they make their way through your area. Add a suet feeder. These are wire cages that contain suet, laced often with seeds and dried berries. You can purchase the extra suet blocks at your home and garden store to refill your feeder.
Watch your feeders early in the morning and again, just before sunset. These are normally the peak feeding times.
Parks Birding Areas
Get online and check out your local parks in Ottawa and specified birding areas. You will find guides to help you locate the best areas for birding, and often, a list of what birds to look for and when they should arrive.
Parks and reserves are set up in fields, woodlands, marshes, and along rivers and lakes. Of course, there will be a whole new variety of birds to look for in each environment. There are often bird platforms set up for viewing.
Out in the fields and woodlands, tread softly. Don’t make any more noise than you have too. This is definitely not the time to take Fido along for a walk.
Which Food To Bring To Feed Birds
You need to choose the proper and nutritious food when feeding birds. Contrary to belief, it’s best if you don’t feed the birds bread. You can shop at your local specialty stores that carry the best quality food options for the birds. It Ottawa, you can visit these 2 stores: Gilligallou and Wild Birds Unlimited.
What Kinds Of Birds To See In Ottawa
Many birds are found in urban parks, wooded areas, forested areas, backyard feeders, waterfront parks, rural fields, and ponds. You can see these kinds of birds in the Ottawa region:
- Blue Jay
- Northern Cardinal
- Great Blue Heron
- Canada Goose
- Snow Bunting
- Red-Winged Blackbird
- Black-Capped Chickadee
This relaxing and healthy birding hobby gets you outside and into the fresh air, and it’s ageless. I hope you enjoyed our spring birding tips for beginners! And Remember… You are never too old or too young to enjoy bird watching!