BIRDingham! Now is a great time to enjoy birds. See how.

 

Bluebirds. Photo courtesy of Debbie Nelson from Brook Highland

Here is something to do in the morning between 5:00am to 7:00am: Open your window or walk out on your porch/backyard. Quietly stop.

Listen to the hundreds of birds singing a “dawn chorus.”

“I was out there this morning, and the dawn chorus is going very loudly,” said Ansel Payne, Executive Director of Alabama Audubon.

“The birds don’t know there is a national crisis. They are just worried about who they are going to find for a mate, where to build their nest and raise their babies.”

Perfect Time to Learn Birding at Home

Fedele, the famous UAB robin mom. Photo by Greg Harber

Last week, Alabama Audubon started a Facebook Live video series on local birding featuring Payne and communication director Sarah Randolph.

If you have ever wanted to learn how to identify and listen to birds – these are fantastic live and informal tutorials.

Check them out below:

Birding with Ansel at his South Avondale home:

Birding with Sarah at Rushton Park 

It’s Migratory Bird Season

According to Payne, now is one of the best times of the year to learn birding.

“The good news is – it is migratory bird season.  You don’t have to go to Dauphin Island right now to see birds. You can wait for them to come to you. Now is a really great time to see birds in your backyard with your binoculars, at a feeder and see how the migratory wave is coming over us.”

Got Kids at Home?

You don’t have to be an adult to learn birding. It is a great family activity, especially since many of us are homebound with the kids.

Here are some resources and activties you can do during th COVID-19 outbreak with your kids at home, backyard or local park.

  • Want to build your own bird feeder with the kids? Pick up some DIY plans – here and here.
  • Need to identify birds?  Visit – All About Birds website.
  • Guides for kids: Six Kid Friendly Bird Guides recommended by Audubon.
  • Prepare the kids for the Alabama Birding Trails. Teach them Alabama geography and get them excited about all the birding trails in the state.
  • And of course, follow the Alabama Audubon Facebook page for more visits and tips from Ansel and Sarah.

“Kids are suddenly going to find  themselves with some unstructured time in which to learn some new lessons,” added Payne  One great lesson will be birds. They can learn all about migration or how to ID birds. You can use a field guide (hardcopy) or go online. You don’t really need to use binoculars. It is a great way to get yourself uncentered from the problems we are collectively facing right now.  Watch two hawks build a nest in Avondale or bluebirds come by and visit your feeders.”

Connect with Alabama Audubon

Photo of bluebird eggs in the Brook Highland neighborhood. Photo by Debbie Nelson

Need more tips?  Connect with Alabama Audubon. Visit their website and call them – (205) 719-3678. Leave a message. They are all at home waiting to hear from you.

Visit Bham Now’s Guides

Don’t forget, while you are learning how to watch and identify birds, order a meal from LOCAL restaurant or support a nonprofit you care about.

Visit Bham Now’s directories with over 350 LOCAL businesses and nonprofits.

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.