Habitat is the ultimate determining factor of what species will be attracted to your property. Foliage comprising of trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses; their maturity and density will all determine what kind of birds will most likely appear at your feeders. Water, ranging from a small bird bath to a pond, will also significantly affect the count and number of species you will observe.
Attracting Birds With Water
A drinking and bathing station that is properly designed will attract a great variety of birds, more than would visit the feeders without the water source. Providing water adds a new dimension to your bird watching enjoyment. Water features can range from a simple flower pot saucer to avian ponds and pools having running water. Having a water source, birds will regularly return to your yard for a drink or a bath.
Planning Your Water Feature:
With a little forethought you can have as very successful water site established in your yard in only a few hours.
Evaluate how much space you have available, the best location (remember that you want to be able to watch the birds using the water feature), and having shrubs or a tree nearby is helpful for shelter and to provide access to the water feature.
Decide about how much you will be able to spend. You will be able to start small and add to it over time.
Think about whether you want just a simple water site for birds to drink at or a bathing and drinking site.
Some Rules To Remember For Water Features For Birds:
Water in a bath or pond should have a depth ranging between 1/2 “– 1 1/2″. Any deeper is of little use by birds. The depth should be varied. Birds prefer water at ground level, so higher off the ground the bath, the less it will be used by the birds. Fresh clean water attracts birds, not dirty, algae filled water. A water feature that looks more natural will be used more by the birds.
Birds are especially vulnerable while bathing. Wet feathers will slow their take-off and flight considerably. Birds are very cautious while bathing so providing a safe place for them will encourage them to use it more. A bird bath out in the open, without any overhead cover, makes the birds vulnerable to birds of prey. On the other hand, too near shrubs (3′) and they are vulnerable to stalking neighborhood cats.
Water is very critical to a birds survival. During the summer there is usually plenty of water available but in the winter most water is frozen, whether in bird baths or ponds. Fresh, unfrozen water will be a magnet for a lot of birds during the winter. One way of achieving this is with de-icer or small heater in the water for the winter.
Standing water is GOOD.
Dripping water is BETTER.
Misting water is GREAT.
Moving water is BEST.
BIRD WATCHING BINOCULARS: FAQs:
All binoculars com with a magnification rating such as 7x,42. The 74 or seven power means it makes object seven times larger than seen with the naked eye. 10x means a magnification of ten times that viewed with the naked eye. The higher the power the more difficult it is to hold the image steady. So high power isn’t necessarily better.
The aperture is the lens width and is a gauge on how bright an image will be. It is given with the magnification power. Binoculars 7x,42 means the objective lens (the lens the light enters) is 42 mm in diameter. A 7x,50 will have a brighter image than a 7x,42 in dim light as at dawn or dusk. Larger lens increase the weight of the binoculars, a consideration for carrying or prolonged use.
Field of View:
The field of view is how wide a scene you see through a binocular. It is measured in degrees or width in feet of a scene 1,000 yards away, such as 8′ or 420′ at 1,000 yards. The wider the field of view, the easier it is to find the bird you are looking for and follow it as it moves. 250′ at 1,000 yards is a minimum field of view for good birding binoculars. With higher magnification you generally have a smaller field of view.
How near you can get to an object and still have a sharp image is called close focus. For general birding, a close focus of 16′ or less is good. Specifications are established for 20/20 vision.
Most binoculars have a screw-type, central focusing knob. These allow for accurate focusing. Rocker arm (fast-focusing) binoculars are difficult to accurately focus on a moving bird. Fixed and instant focus are not precise enough for birding.
Eye relief is the distance from the ocular (eye piece) lens to the outer edge of the eye guard. Eye-glass wearers should field the eye guard back while viewing through their glasses. A minimum eye relief of 15 mm is recommended for eye-glass wearers. The field of view is lessened with much shorter eye reliefs.
For more information, see previous posts by typing “birds” into the search box at right.