Stalking and following other creatures is best left for non-human subjects. It’s not only illegal, but it’s kind of rude. But for those of us with a curious side and a law abiding strike, birds are perfect for backyard viewing, much smaller, unaware, and most importantly very nice to look upon.
However, you can’t just go out and start watching birds. There are some basics to the process. It’s an artform of sorts. Back yard bird watching is only enjoyable if you make it so. First off, birds are easy to figure out. If you find a place with ample food, sunlight, and water, you’ll be surrounded by birds before you know it. Now, find a hiding spot nearby, somewhere behind a bush or a hollow beside a tree and you have a perfect lookout for watching your fine feathered subjects as they feed or bathe.
Now that you’ve found your perfectly quiet little hollow, it’s time to make sure you don’t disrupt your quarry. Keep it quiet. Birds are easily excitable. And don’t wear any bright colors that will draw attention. You want to blend in.
A great tip for catching a bird off guard and fully tricking them into ignoring you is the switcheroo. Birds are clever for their size, but they can’t add one and one, so if you have a friend or family member with you willing to help you out, you’ve got a perfect trap to get incredibly close to those birds.
First off, keep your bird feeder full. Every day, make sure there is fresh food out there so that you’re drawing birds to your yard on a daily basis. This is the first step no matter what your method is, but you’ll want to make sure to be incredibly consistent here. The birds will become accustomed to seeing you and fly in as soon as you walk away each day to grab the food.
Now, bring a friend with you one day, and have them place food in the feeder while you hide in a very nearby box, alcove, or bush. Voila, the bird is fully tricked and you can stay and watch as they feed from as close as you’d like.
One more tip is the hit or miss, but extremely successful when it hits, art of splishing. You simply make bird-like noises, often squeaks or hisses that draw the bird close to you, fooled by the familiar call. Not all birds are willing to succumb to the trickery, and you have to get the sound relatively correct, but when it does work, it works surprisingly well.
These are only a couple of quick tips for your bird stalking hobby. When you start back yard bird watching, you’ll find there are hundreds of little tricks you can perform to outsmart your birds and get a good look at them. It’s an acquired skill, one of much patience and practice, but the end result is almost always worth the effort.