Audubon Day (April 26) spreads the wings of opportunity to enjoy nature and learn more about birds. Audubon Day is named after the widely-recognized National Audubon Society, an organization dedicated to protecting birds and their habitats. Make plans to see, hear or better understand these animals, starting with the ideas here.
Go for a walk
Birds are everywhere. From the beach to the mountains, from coast to coast, and even on islands. This Audubon Day, take the opportunity not only to find them but to really watch them. Each species of bird has its own characteristics and behaviors. There is much to observe and learn from these creatures.
Whether in the city, on a forest trail or with your feet in the sand, take a friend, family member or child on your adventure with you. Also, bring along a sketchbook, journal or camera to memorialize and deepen the experience.
Read a book
There are likely as many books about birds as species themselves. If you enjoy research or recreational reading, head to the library or the used book store. Hit up libraries around town or stop into a thrift shop. Find books for all ages and share them with your family. You can pick a specific type of bird, have each family member dig up some stats on a different feathered friend or simply pick whatever appeals to you.
Take a drawing class
Birds are beautiful and interesting animals. You can capture that appeal by learning how to draw their likeness. Learn the basics of drawing. Then use your skills to memorialize birds flying, drinking water or feeding their young. Find information about drawing birds from the Audubon Society here.
Learn bird calls
Whether you plan to make long treks that involve bird watching or are curious about the sounds in the woods around you, learning bird calls is a way to both identify birds and potentially draw their attention. Head to the internet for videos on how to make the sounds. Record yourself to see if your efforts match those in the teachings. Alternatively, learn directly from a guide or fellow bird hunter who’s had success mirroring the calls from nature.
Watch a documentary
As an integral part of nature, birds are at the center of the food chain. Therefore, many documentaries explore their characteristics and practices. Learn about habitats, mating, parenting and more. Check out “Attenborough’s Paradise Birds,” “Birders: The Central Park Effect,” “Earthflight,” “March of the Penguins” or “Winged Migration” to get you started.
Make bird treats
While feeding wild animals is normally discouraged, giving the local bird population a bit of a treat provides them with energy to build nests and care for their young. As a bonus, it draws them in close enough for you to enjoy.
If you have hummingbirds in your area, make some nectar from one part white sugar and four parts boiling water. Allow the sugar to dissolve and cool completely before filling your feeder.
Suet is another natural and healthy treat for our feathered friends. Find a recipe and video on how to make it on the Audubon website here.
Build a birdhouse and/or bird feeder
Birdhouses are easy to build. Prop up the bird population around your home by giving them places to perch, eat, drink and rest. You can build a bird feeder out of just about anything flat enough to hold food. The Audubon society suggests carving out a pumpkin and hanging it from a chain. You can similarly use a container from the recycling.
For a birdhouse, wood is the best natural choice. Here are some pointers for “Building a Birdhouse That Will Attract Birds All Year Long,” from our friends at DoitYourself.com.
Join an Audubon Day event
In addition to learning more about birds or trying to spot them in action, there are many ways to benefit the winged wonders. The Audubon organization makes it easy to jump into an organized event. Find an Audubon branch near you, where you’ll be able to participate in presentations from around the world, work parties to enhance habitats, direct contact opportunities with birds, birding classes or community field trips.
The best food for animals and humans is the food that comes directly from nature. For birds and other species, relying on food that’s native to the region is the healthiest choice. You can provide this food by landscaping with plants native to your area. Check with the local extension office or do some research online to find out what plants are native and where to find them.
Take a stand
The Audubon Society is also involved in some political initiatives that affect birds. It encourages citizens to take action by participating in one of its many campaigns. Learn more about these initiatives here on the Audubon website.
Images via Pexels and Pixabay