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Great wildlife watching at home

For the past few weeks, many Utahns have enjoyed spectacular wildlife watching—colorful, up close, lively. And they've enjoyed it from the comfort of their home!

Placing a bird feeder in your back yard can lead to some amazing wildlife watching

Placing a bird feeder in your back yard can lead to some amazing wildlife watching.

Photo by Phil Douglass

Each spring, neotropical songbirds migrate from their winter homes to their summer homes. In the process, they take advantage of bird feeders that residents have placed in back yards across Utah.

And this year, some species of birds have been taking advantage of bird feeders in big numbers.

"Last year, we had one (lazuli bunting) at our feeder," says William Pollett, a noted naturalist and a popular English professor at Weber State University. "This year, we had 25."

A fun, year-round activity

Bird feeding has often been viewed as an activity you do in the winter.

"In reality, having bird feeding stations in your yard is a great year-round activity," says Phil Douglass, regional conservation outreach manager with the Division of Wildlife Resources. "With proper planning, any yard can have a 'living, feathered landscape.'"

Douglass provides some tips to help you start your own bird feeding station:

  • Put your feeder close to trees and bushes. Putting your feeder close to cover entices birds to your feeder by giving them a place to which they can escape if needed.
  • Keep a field guide and binoculars close to your viewing area to help you identify your feathered visitors!
  • For more information about setting up bird feeders and creating landscapes for birds, contact the Ogden Nature Center, the Stokes Nature Center in Logan, the USU Botanical Gardens in Kaysville or the Wild Bird Center of Layton.

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