Bird watching is already among the top hobbies of Americans, as well as people all over the world. It’s easy, it’s free, it’s educational, and it’s relaxing. The biggest challenge that bird watching involves is actually finding the birds. Luckily, there’s a simple solution: bring the birds to you.
Here are five reasons to turn your home into a place that’s literally for the birds.
1. Small Investment, Big Return
If you don’t have many birds near your home, you might not know what you’re missing. It’s easy to change that by making your yard, porch, or window sill into a favorite pit stop for your feathered friends. Bird feeders can be extremely inexpensive (although you can pay a premium for designer ones), simple to install, and easy to maintain. Food to put on the menu won’t break the bank either, especially if you find deals or buy in bulk. A savvy shopper or DIY type can easily find a way to feed a yard full of birds for less than $50 a year, and along with the added wildlife diversity you’ll experience, you’ll reap the other benefits on this list as well.
2. Free Pest Control
Birds eat more than seeds and worms. In fact, insects are among their favorite delicacies. Laying out the welcome for a variety of winged beauties will lead to a more pleasant environment all around, with fewer pesky mosquitoes, gnats, flies, and other pests to interrupt your attempts to peacefully commune with nature.
3. Help In The Garden
We all know that salty foods make us crave sweet ones. After the birds have had their fill of insects, they’ll turn to your flower garden to quench their thirst. Birds are key to efficient pollination, so having them around can do wonders for your blooming beauties.
4. It’s Good For The Ecosystem (And The Soul)
You might think that the birds can take of themselves just fine without your help. However, constant development has taken huge chunks out of our avian friends’ traditional habitats, often leaving entire species without resources or stability. You might not singlehandedly be able to stop deforestation, but giving a little bit back to other species can go a long way.
5. It Can Be Social, Too
For most people, watching birds is all about solitude and serenity. However, if it turns into a full-time hobby, you might be interested to find out about the thousands of ornithological groups and clubs that meet on a regular basis all around the country. From book readings to nature walks, all kinds of community-oriented activities revolve around feeding, watching, and getting to know birds, and can be an excellent way to meet new people who share your interests.
There’s never been a better time than now to get started with this new hobby. Check out your local hardware or home improvement store to find a selection of bird feeders. Or, better yet, look into building your own, which will help you learn about the subtleties of how birds feed. By this time next year, you could be an expert!