Look Beyond the Feeders for the Best Backyard Bird Watching
Sep 23, 2020

Look Beyond the Feeders for the Best Backyard Bird Watching

Wondering what to expect as summer transitions to fall? Activity at your feeders will pick up as natural food sources wane and autumn progresses. And if you find that rewarding, try looking beyond your bird feeders and into the shrubs and foliage in your yard. Look at the sky above your yard, and listen for sounds you haven't heard before.
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Hummingbirds and Torpor
Sep 16, 2020

Hummingbirds and Torpor

Hummingbirds have evolved a unique ability to go into a trancelike state called torpor to help them survive cool temperatures and periods of inactivity, especially while sleeping at night. The birds are unresponsive and appear to be dead when in this state.
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Attract More Birds with Moving Water
Sep 9, 2020

Attract More Birds with Moving Water

Looking for great ways to attract more birds to your yard? Try adding a birdbath with moving water.
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Will Birds Starve If You Stop Feeding Them?
Sep 2, 2020

Will Birds Starve If You Stop Feeding Them?

This is a question we hear a lot at Watching Backyard Birds. Birders planning an extended vacation often worry about the birds that frequent their feeders. Where will they find food? If they leave, will they ever come back?
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8 Common Bird-feeding Myths Debunked
Aug 28, 2020

8 Common Bird-feeding Myths Debunked

Have you ever noticed how much of what we consider "conventional wisdom" is actually wrong and ridiculous? Bird-feeding conventional wisdom is riddled with bad information. But you, my friend, are in luck! I have tried most everything in bird feeding at least once, and I have made nearly every mistake possible. Why? So you won't have to!
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Watch the Moon for Southbound Migrants
Aug 26, 2020

Watch the Moon for Southbound Migrants

In 2020, full moons will occur September 2, October 1, October 31, and November 30. If the night sky is cloudless, aim your binoculars toward the moon, and watch. Most migratory land birds make their twice-yearly journey at night, including thrushes, warblers, flycatchers, sparrows, orioles, vireos, and cuckoos.
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Is It a Crime to Kill a Hummingbird?
Aug 19, 2020

Is It a Crime to Kill a Hummingbird?

Dear Birdsquatch: Is hummingbirdicide a crime? I adore eight of my hummingbirds, but Number 9, a male, is making life difficult for all the others. I want to kill him. Not really, but he must be stopped! Can I trap him and relocate him? Any advice?

—Fern B.,
Rolla, Missouri

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A Bee-resistant Hummingbird Feeder?
Aug 12, 2020

A Bee-resistant Hummingbird Feeder?

It's a question we get every summer here at Watching Backyard Birds and Bird Watcher's Digest: How can I keep the bees off of my nectar feeder? WBB editor Dawn Hewitt conducts a pseudo-scientific experiment to see which of her hummingbird feeders attracts the fewest bees.
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Birdbath Cleaning
Aug 5, 2020

Birdbath Cleaning

Keep your birdbath clean. It's a simple adage, oft repeated, but there are reasons to be scrupulous that go beyond hygiene and aesthetics. Of course, the birds' health comes first. If we're going to provide water, we owe it to them to give the bath a good scrubbing when droppings and algae foul the water. Bird droppings contain nitrogen, which is algae fuel, so the quicker we get rid of them, the cleaner our bath will stay.
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How Do I Attract More Hummingbirds?
Jul 29, 2020

How Do I Attract More Hummingbirds?

Dear Birdsquatch: Is hummingbirdicide a crime? I adore eight of my hummingbirds, but Number 9, a male, is making life difficult for all the others. I want to kill him. Not really, but he must be stopped! Can I trap him and relocate him? Any advice?

—Fern B.,
Rolla, Missouri

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Reminder: Wash Your Bird Feeders!
Jul 22, 2020

Reminder: Wash Your Bird Feeders!

Although it is rare—even unheard of—for humans to become sick from handling a bird feeder, there is no doubt that microorganisms flourish on their surface. That’s why it’s important for you to wash your hands after handling your feeders, including after refilling them. Much more of a threat are illnesses and diseases spread among the birds that visit and share feeders.
Mantids Threaten Hummingbirds
Jul 15, 2020

Mantids Threaten Hummingbirds

A potential threat to hummingbirds may be lurking in your yard. The photos are too gruesome to publish, but there are plenty on the internet of mantises killing hummingbirds.
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Fifteen Fun Feather Facts
Jul 8, 2020

Fifteen Fun Feather Facts

All birds—and only birds—have feathers, but how much do you know about feathers, really? WBB managing editor Dawn Hewitt shares surprising facts!
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Are You Overlooking These Summer Birds?
Jul 1, 2020

Are You Overlooking These Summer Birds?

If you're anything like me, you probably spend a fair number of summertime evenings relaxing outside with a good book and your favorite beverage, casually noting the bird activity around you. If feeders or nest boxes are nearby, you're probably noticing chickadees, hummingbirds, bluebirds, swallows, and other expected birds, depending upon where you live. But what about the many other species that are more easily overlooked, either because they don't commonly visit feeders or use nest boxes, or because they tend to stay hidden in the treetops? Here are six surprisingly common birds that may be sharing your backyard, park, or other favorite summertime space.
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Natural Bird Feeding: What Do Birds Want?
Jun 26, 2020

Natural Bird Feeding: What Do Birds Want?

How would you like to feed birds in the very best way possible—in a way that is all natural, environmentally sustainable, inexpensive, and easy to do? Get out the garden gloves and the garden trowel and leave the bird feeders and seed alone for a minute. The very best way to feed birds is to offer them the kinds of foods they would find and consume in nature and that starts with offering bird-friendly plants.
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Orphaned Birds: What To Do?
Jun 24, 2020

Orphaned Birds: What To Do?

At this time of year, the bird population seems to boom, with our woods, marshes, fields, and backyards teeming with abundant birdlife. This is because throngs of newly hatched birds are taking to the streets—or, trees, rather—and they are showing up at a backyard or birding spot near you. But what should you do if you find an orphan hopping around? Read this article for tips.
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Ask Birdsquatch: Is Popcorn Safe for Birds?
Jun 17, 2020

Ask Birdsquatch: Is Popcorn Safe for Birds?

Dear Birdsquatch:

My neighbor puts popped popcorn in her bird feeder! I've seen orioles and jays fly off with it, which surprised me. It seems wrong, but what do I know? Is it all right to feed birds popcorn?

—Beth W.,
Parker, Colorado

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Birdscaping 101: Bird-magnet Plants for Your Yard
Jun 10, 2020

Birdscaping 101: Bird-magnet Plants for Your Yard

Some yards seem to be magnets for birds. Providing a variety of delectable bird food in various feeder types at numerous locations, plus a fresh water source are key features in such locations, but the setting of those features is every bit as important. Providing a landscape that is safe and alluring to birds is an essential element in attracting diverse species.

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Ask Birdsquatch: Weaning Hummingbirds from the Feeder?
Jun 3, 2020

Ask Birdsquatch: Weaning Hummingbirds from the Feeder?

Dear Birdsquatch:

How can I wean my hummingbirds from my nectar feeders? I will be moving in August.

—Lynne S.,
Los Angeles, California

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Top 10 Things to Watch in Your Backyard This Summer
May 30, 2020

Top 10 Things to Watch in Your Backyard This Summer

When spring bird migration ends and nesting season begins, summer is upon you. For some backyard bird watchers this means that activity slows a bit at the feeders. Some backyard birders refer to a hot summer afternoon as boring. Perish the thought! There are dozens of other things to watch, observe, and enjoy when the birds are sneakily going about their breeding season activities. Here are just 10 for you to consider. Add some shade and a cold drink, and you're all set.
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