February 18, 2022
By guest blogger and photographer Elaine Mathis
Did you know songbirds are the most common Carolina Wildlife Center patient? In 2021 the Center gave 2,022 of these little serenaders a second chance. Songbirds are all around us bringing joy to those who take time to pay attention.
Birdwatching is an uncomplicated hobby. All you need to do is step outside, watch and listen. In South Carolina we have the advantage of backyard birding throughout the year. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times for birdwatching.
A popular southern sighting is the Carolina Wren. This pint-sized cutie is the South Carolina state bird. The male Carolina Wren has a piercing teakettle-teakettle song. Nicknamed by some as the Mouth of the South, it has a chunky body with reddish brown feathers. You can easily attract the vocal Carolina Wren to your backyard with a handful of seeds.
One of the most beloved birds is the Eastern Bluebird. This small beauty has a soft tu-a-wee warble. Males are known for their vibrant blue feathers and have a rust-colored throat and breast. Females are more grayish blue with an orange chest. Eastern Bluebirds typically nest in the spring, yet you can spot them year-round in our state, especially if mealworms are available.
Another popular bird is the Northern Cardinal. Males are bright red and females are a duller red. This mid-sized songbird has a loud cheer, cheer, cheer trill it uses to communicate and to warn off predators. Males can be very territorial. Northern Cardinals are frequent diners at feeders.
Backyard birding is an easy way to get some fresh air while experiencing the wonder of nature. It’s intriguing to listen to songbirds’ tunes and observe their habits. Just step outside with your senses alert to experience the joy of backyard birding. A handful of seeds helps, too.
How can you help songbirds?
- Join birdwatchers of all ages in the Great Backyard Bird Count February 18-21, 2022.
- Keep your bird feeders and bird bath clean! This helps birds stay healthy by reducing infections caused by bacteria and mold. Experts recommend a solution of tap water with 10% household bleach; scrub vigorously with a bristle brush, and completely dry the items in sunlight before refilling.
- Finally, if you find an injured bird, please contact Carolina Wildlife Center.
Let’s work together to keep our backyard birds singing.