Looking Beyond The Bird Feeder

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Palm Warbler
Palm Warbler

During the winter months, most of the bird action in my yard is at the feeders. There are also birds looking under leaves and in bark crevices for bugs or searching for natural sources of seed or fruit. But none of these things is as abundant in the cold months, so for many birds that stay around here through the winter, the feeders become the center of activity.

But come spring, there are more and more things around for birds to eat so, while they’ll still happily come to feeders, many can also be seen in other places in the yard. Sparrows who up until now were mostly found under the feeders are now searching for seed and bugs in the grass (or what passes for grass in my yard) or up in the trees that are now leafing out. Some birds are getting nectar from flowering plants or finding insects attracted to the flowers. And there are all kinds of really interesting spring migrants coming through that don’t come to feeders at all, but who might be found in your yard if you watch for them.

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Birding at Patuxent Research Refuge North Tract

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Killdeer on Merganser Pond
Killdeer on One of the Little Islands on Merganser Pond

Over the past year, Jim and I have been gradually exploring birding spots here in central Maryland. Birds can be found just about anywhere, including your backyard, roadsides and area parking lots. But birds need food, cover, places to nest and water. So spots where these needs are met in abundance are hot spots where you are likely to find more birds. In our immediate area, one of the best is Patuxent Research Refuge. The refuge straddles Anne Arundel and Prince Georges Counties about mid-way between DC and Baltimore.) If you live in this area or are visiting and want to get in some birding, it is a great place to try.

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