Audubon Day, April 26, offers a great day to get outside and enjoy nature and the birds. Bird watching is a fun pastime and it’s easy to really dig in and learn a lot along the way.
What is Audubon Day?
Audubon Day falls on April 26 every year, John James Audubon’s birthday. Audobon was an American ornithologist and an artist. Not only did he study birds, but he also drew and painted amazing pictures of them as part of his studies. Over the course of his life, he documented hundreds of known birds species with his artwork, discovered dozens more, and made an enormous contribution to the field of ornithology and natural history.
Because of his studies and works like The Birds of America—widely considered to be one of the greatest examples of book art—Audubon is celebrated by bird lovers and ornithologists alike.
Audubon Day is a great day to take some time out and enjoy the bird world. Here are some ways you can practice a little ornithology of your own.
Go Bird Watching (and Draw the Birds You See)
Sit outside, go to the park, or walk around your neighborhood and look for birds. Depending on the area you’re in, you’re likely to see all kinds—from taloned birds of prey like hawks to dainty songbirds like warblers. If you don’t know the type of bird, you can look it up on the Audubon website.
Take a pencil and a notebook with you and spend some time drawing the birds you see. Make a note of their colors so that you can paint your art when you get back home or take some colored pencils along.
Learn Different Bird Calls (and Practice Them)
Birds make beautiful music. While you’re bird watching, listen to how birds communicate and the songs they sing. You can find out what bird you’re hearing by looking up the calls and songs they use. Birds are unique in this way, each with their own language, almost.
There’s an app for that, so you can identify bird songs while you’re out enjoying nature.
Make Suet Bird Cakes
Many birds enjoy suet cakes, but you don’t have to buy premade cakes (though you will want a basket to hang them in). They’re pretty easy to make from home. You can make them with different flavors and colors to attract different birds. Orioles like to eat oranges, so putting some orange in suet cakes will attract them.
Check out the video above for some easy suet cake making instructions.
Make Bird Feeders
Bird feeders offer a great way to attract birds to your yard. Rather than buying one, why not make something unique to celebrate Nation Audubon Day. While you can find lots of great woodworking tutorials online for making bird feeders, you can also make them with stuff you have in the kitchen. Recycle and reuse plastic bottles, coffee cans, and even milk jugs to make creative and clever bird feeders.
Whether you go all out and start planning to turn your backyard into a bird sanctuary, or you just take a spell to sit outside and enjoy the birds, there are plenty of ways to celebrate National Audobon Day.