60

This is rather speculative, but draws on a few birding/wildlife books I've read and it's too much for a comment. It also has a little UK bias, but I've visited 4 continents on wildlife trips, and much of this seems universal. First, to get them out of the way: invertebrates may be interesting but in the general population there's a bit of a "yuck factor". ...


15

It's also a case of accessibility, birding really doesn't take any special equipment beyond say a pair of binoculars and birds will visit peoples backyards and bird feeders. While mammals can be shy or limited in area requiring trips to see them. Fish take special equipment to catch and mammals especially the biggers ones can often be dangerous to humans. ...


10

I'm not a bird-watcher myself, but I have bird-watchers in my family, so I had rich opportunity to observe their conversations on their hobby. Here's a collection of points that I think contribute to the appeal of bird-watching. Note that for reasons of homogenuity, I'll use websites and quotes mostly from the UK as an example in the following, but the ...


5

I suggest adding something for the birds to perch on right next to or on top of the feeder. A few sticks or branches tied to the top of the feeder may be enough. I had a birding lecture last night and the lecturer said that bird feeders should be surrounded by places to perch. He stated that this more naturally mimics a birds habitat because they usually ...


5

After a brief exchange of comments, I think I have enough to take a stab at an answer, with the caveat that this will be mostly informed-guessing on my part. After all, every animal has its persnickety side, and who knows what's going on inside the their heads. I mostly think that some variant of "new-ness" is behind your observations. Chemical Smells: ...


4

I live in the UK and the first time I noticed Robin's nesting was in the top of a down pipe. Unfortunately the heavens opened and we had flash floods. The water filled up and the 6 babies died despite taking them to a rescue centre. I put up 2 Robin nest boxes directly underneath and around. Within 3 days they nested again. Each year I'm really lucky to have ...


3

This might have to do with migrating behaviour. Different seasons will see different birds, hence more variety, and their arrival has more of an event character.


1

Accessibility, and the sore thumbs of wearing funny hats and a pair of binoculars. This question is predicated on an observational bias. Walking out your front door wearing binoculars immediately identifies you as a bird watcher, as opposed to me: a cat watcher. And if you can walk ten feet without seeing a bird, you're just not looking hard enough. When ...


1

It's nothing more complicated than this: The hobby is accessible. Birds come to us. The suburbs are a very, very, very hostile place for land animals - vast and sterile by their standards, with pavement, lawns (no cover), structures, fences to impede mobility, and thick with predators (dogs and cats). So prairie dogs, salamanders, wolves, emus, giant ...


1

We have several feeders. Chickadees will eat nyger until the sunflower feeder is empty. Gold finch and purple finch seem to prefer the nyger seed. So far the only bird that eats millet seed (found in cheap mixes) are juncos and then only after it's been on the ground for a week or so. By far the favourites at our feeders are the black oil sunflower seeds,...


1

It looks like birds won't eat it once the seed dries out and not all birds like it so I would make sure that you have the right types of birds in your area. Sometimes the birds would also rather eat wild seeds instead of from feeders. Also, it's not actually thistle seed, it's just called that for marketing purposes and it's sterilized by heat so you don't ...


1

Yes and no; As a breeding/home territory robins do not like thick woods. They prefer an open woodland typical of single home suburbs ( in US). They want some open ground for foraging. Goldfinches like similar open woodlands. However , I see the large migrating flocks of robins in the thick forest ( E TX, piney woods).These loose flocks contain many thousands ...


1

All About Birds from Cornell Lab of Ornithology is one of the best on the internet for North American Birds. You can search by key word, taxonomic name, or browse by shape: And you can try "Merlin" out for a streamlined identification process! The result pages for the 650+ species include species overview, range maps, life histories, ID information, ...


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