Author(s): Mary Twitchell
It hardly matters where you live - on that one special morning in early spring just before daybreak, your hushed neighborhood will suddenly burst forth into a cacophony of singing, tweeting, chirping, cawing, squawking, warbling. The birds are back, and it's time again for their yearly rituals of mating, nesting, and raising a family.
With a little encouragement, some of these avians can become regular seasonal residents (robins, flickers, wrens, sparrows); others (chickadees, titmice, Downy Woodpeckers) may be induced to become year-round companions, providing continual enjoyment for your whole family.
Initially you may learn to identify different species, then their song patterns, nesting habits, and preferred habitats. Soon you will erecting feeders and setting out birdhouses, or nesting boxes, to encourage birds to feed, court, and breed in your yard.