Archive for the 'Hints' Category

How to watch birds

Some time ago I write a series of articles called How to be a birder – some hints. This series of 20 articles covered many aspects of being a birder, with hints for the beginner through to more experienced.

How to watch birds is an article on another website. It has some very useful information for beginners to this fascinating hobby, including what equipment is needed. Its information about binoculars is most detailed and useful. The sections on bird books, including field guides is for American birders only so readers from other countries need to seek out those resources relevant to their own region of interest.

Here in Australia we have many useful resources (go to the links section for relevant places to seek out books, field guides and equipment).

Dusky Woodswallow

Dusky Woodswallow

How to Attract Birds to Your Garden

One of the great and constant delights I have in my interest in birding is to witness the constant movement and activity of birds in our garden. Many of the articles on this blog come directly from observations of birds in the garden. Many of the photos appearing on this blog and in my photo gallery have been taken in the garden or nearby.

People who have an interest in birds often ask “How can I attract more birds to my garden?” There are some simple ways of ensuring a greater number of birds in your garden which will, in turn, bring many hours of pleasure over many years. Here are some simple “rules” to help you:

  1. Water: Provide a constant source of water, such as a pond, bird bath or dripping tap into a bowl.
  2. Food: Provide a variety of native trees and bushes that become a suitable food source. (In Australia – never put out food like parrot seed for them).
  3. Protection: Never let your cat roam the garden – and actively discourage neighbour’s cats from entering your garden.
  4. Safety: Provide a safe environment for the birds by not using any poisons like snail bait in your garden.

These are simple and effective methods of ensuring a safe and happy habitat for the birds in your garden.

For more information, go to the Bird Observers Club of Australia website. They have available two downloadable leaflets on attracting birds to your garden. Highly recommended.


  • Attracting Birds to your Garden – part 1
  • Attracting Birds to your Garden – part 2
  • Bird Observers Club of Australia – one of our largest birding clubs.
  • Garden Birds – over 80 articles from my archives about birds in gardens, mostly our garden.
New Holland Honeyeaters

New Holland Honeyeaters

Choosing Binoculars for Birding

Some months ago I ran a series of articles on “How to be a Birder.” Included in that series was one article about choosing binoculars. I’ve recently come across a good explanation of how binoculars work and how to choose those that will suit you. This advice is in the form of a downloadable file called “Choosing Binoculars for Birdwatching” from the Bird Observers Club of Australia (BOCA) [Update: sorry – that link no longer exists.]
Useful links:

UPDATE: More recently I found the following website with some very useful hints on choosing binoculars for birding: Optics Planet. This is a commercial site selling a wide range of optics for all kinds of activities. I am not endorsing the store, just the section on choosing binoculars.

UPDATE November 2013: some links on this post not longer exist. Sorry about that.

Caring for a baby honeyeater

From time to time people encounter baby birds that have fallen from a nest or have been abandoned by their parents for whatever reason. Most people are keen to care for the little one but they usually have little idea of how to go about this.

Adelaide writer of crime and romance fiction Kirsty Brooks is one such person. She has had the delight of looking after a White Plumed Honeyeater from early in its life. This bird now brings her much delight, living in her house together with her pet Cockatiel parrot. Her heart warming and humourous account can be read by clicking on the link below.


White Plumed Honeyeater

White Plumed Honeyeater

How to be a lazy birder part 4

This is part 4 in the series of articles for The Lazy Birder.

  • Pick up your binoculars.
  • Pick up your car keys.
  • Drive to the nearest park, beach, river’s edge or lake.
  • Park the car, carefully applying the hand brake.
  • Watch the birds you can see from the car.
  • After a suitable period of birding, drive home carefully.
  • Optional extra: stroll for a few minutes though the park, along the beach of river or along the shore of the lake.
  • Happy birding.