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Birding in Minnesota: A Guide For The Backyard Bird Watcher

Counting Crows . . . owls, finches, hawks, loons, ducks and every other bird species in Minnesota

Birding in Minnesota

EAT, SLEEP, BATHE: OUTFITTING YOUR BACKYARD FOR BIRDS

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1. Suet seed cake.
2. Finch feeder with nyjer seeds.
3. Fruit/jelly feeder for orioles.
4. Feed for seed-eating birds.
5. Small birdbath for bathing.
6. Large birdbath provides drinking water for small birds, and bath and drinking water for larger birds.

Bird feeders provided by Wild Birds Unlimited

BIRDING BY EAR

Most bird-watchers spend more time listening to the sounds birds make than they do actually watching them. In fact, an experienced bird-watcher can identify most, if not all, of the birds in a given area just by listening to their songs or calls. Songs and calls are different, however. Birdsongs are the more musical and complex melodies birds use primarily to advertise their interest in mating. Calls are the shorter, less musical chirps, tweets, and chatters that birds use to communicate locations and warnings. Once you learn the birdsongs in your neighborhood, you’d be surprised how rewarding it is to hear the chirping cacophony in your backyard turn into an avian conversation.



Two good resources: Peterson Field Guides’ Birding by Ear by Richard K. Walton and Robert W. Larson and Birds of Minnesota Field Guide and Audio CD set by Stan Tekiela.

BIRDING BY PHONE

Besides giving you an encyclopedia’s worth of information at your fingertips, these smartphone apps include photos, range maps, and recordings of birdsongs you can use to identify—and attract—beautiful songbirds:



The Sibley eGuide to the
Birds of North America


iBird
Explorer Pro


Birds of Minnesota
Field Guide




















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