Birdsong and bird behaviors bring us such pleasure.  We can enjoy them while hiking along the trails in the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area or watch their behaviors and interactions at our backyard feeders.  We can attract them to our yards by providing the necessary plantings that create the habitats, nesting sites, water sources, and safety that they require.  Whether you are an avid birder or a casual observer, it is fun to learn more about the diversity of birds that visit our area. 

Our friends at the Howard County Bird Club are incredibly knowledgeable about the birds that visit the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and all the other parks in Howard County.  The members visit the MPEA frequently and maintain records of their sitings.  Click Here to link to their very informative website.  You can review the lists of birds common to our area, view phenomenal photos,  learn about the club's regular monthly programs,  join them for an outing, and get some advice on how to attract birds to your backyard. 

Once again, our friends at Master Gardeners have information on their website that will help you to select  plantings that will attract birds. Click here.https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/flowers

And here for another helpful site about gardening for wildlife from the National Wildlife Foundation.

http://www.nwf.org/How-to-Help/Garden-for-Wildlife.aspx?campaignid=WH10DGWP&s_src=CWH_Wildlife_Navigation&campaignid=WH10DGWP&s_src=CWH_Wildlife_Navigation

Want to identify some of the birds you see in the MPEA or in your yard?  Here is an easy to use website from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology  that provides great photos and descriptions of birds as well as information about how to get started when you want to attract birds to your yard.

http://www.allaboutbirds.org

And this site,  http://ebird.org/content/ebird/   provides a real-time, online checklist program.  It has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Check it out.

There are several commercial establishments in the Howard County area that specialize in products for backyard bird lovers: bird feeders and baths, heaters, bird food.  And the Howard County Bird Club, referenced above, has an annual bird seed sale that you can take advantage of as well.