Advice for Birders

Tips on feeds and feeders for wintering birds

Tim O’Connell joins Casey Hentges for another episode of Oklahoma Gardening to discuss his best advice for winter bird feeding.  The segment begins about the 8:40 mark. (Look for some special guest stars among the bird photos that slipped in during post-production!)

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Technology might change the way we experience birds in the 2020s

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This article from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds describes how the technology already exists to transform birding over the next 5 years.

Choosing the right hummingbird feeder

Tim O’Connell chats with Casey Hentges of Oklahoma Gardening about best practices for feeding hummingbirds.

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Advice for feeding birds

Check out this wonderful video from Oklahoma Gardening in which host Kim Toscano chats with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Mark Howery.

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Problem birds – woodpecker damage

The OSU department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management’s Dwayne Elmore explains to Oklahoma Gardening‘s Kim Toscano the great lengths that one homeowner pursued to deter Northern Flickers from drilling into wood siding.

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Feeding fruit to birds (and butterflies!)

Oklahoma Gardening‘s Kim Toscano provides some great advice on best practices for encouraging fruit-eating birds with some oranges, bananas, and grape jelly.

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Native shrubs for autumn migrants

Oklahoma Gardening‘s Kim Toscano interviews the OSU department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management’s Tim O’Connell on the topic of native shrubs to help fuel fall migration.

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Birding is for kids!

So many of us older folks got into birding in our youth but it’s more difficult than ever for today’s youngsters to do that. With so much competition for their attention, so little unscheduled time, and so much of the fields and forests we knew now covered in parking lots and housing units, it’s a wonder that some of them still do. The National Audubon Society, Cornell Lab or Ornithology, American Birding Association and others have programs specifically geared toward developing the next generations of birders and inspiring a lifelong commitment toward conservation.

Scouting is another great way to get involved. I heard today from Steven Neale whose daughter Emily is working on an Eco Friend badge from the Girl Scouts. Emily found some great resources and wanted to share them here. Here they are – and thanks, Emily!

Official Birds of the United States

AAA State of Play: A Kid’s Guide to Bird-Watching in the Playground


You need some binoculars! Here’s how to get a great pair without breaking the bank.Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 11.25.50 AM.png

Choosing a great spotting scope.

On Feb. 2nd 2017, our own Jim Cowley delivered a fun and fact-filled presentation on great photographic equipment that won’t break the bank (though the bank might at least end up a bit bruised!).

In response to many questions Jim fielded, he sent along the following explanation and links relevant to his presentation.  Thank you, Jim!

“Nikon p900: The rental camera I passed around.
Here’s another review.

I rented it with the idea that it might be good purchase for the group for outings and such. After a few hours of use, I had mixed feelings. I had hoped it would be easy to use and accessible to anyone right off the bat, but it does have a bit of a learning curve. All this said, to anyone wanting to do bird photography and comfortable with the $600 price tag, I think it would be a good entry level camera. The magnification is more than adequate with very good image stabilization. It has a lot of tech features. You can instantly view and transmit images on a smartphone. It has built in GPS so you could return or direct someone else to an exact location. You just have to expect to spend a few hours to get most from it.

Review sites.
Digital Photography Review ( Very good, a lot of technical stuff most wouldn’t be interested in, but also includes a summary impression of what its like to use the item, with comparisons to similar offerings. There are useful user reviews on Amazon and B&H.

Rental sites. and I’ve used both and their service is very good. Don’t assume from the name that lenses are their only business, they rent cameras and lots of other equipment.

Where to buy.
B&H is usually considered the best both for service and selection.
There are others, but always check the buyer reviews on Google before you order anything. YELP is a good site and Better Business Bureau. Here’s typical review of something called Malibu Camera: “Don’t buy anything. Bait and switch and then nothing. Still waiting for a refund and I am charged an international transaction fee which they will not refund me at all.”

My favorite camera
My own favorite camera, which I also passed around, is the Nikon 1 V3. It is the smallest interchangeable lens camera that you could actually photograph birds with. It has the fastest autofocus of any camera made and can rack off 20 shots in a second. It is somewhat in need of an upgrade to newer tech like 4k video and a higher megapix sensor. Sadly, this may not happen soon as Nikon had had some financial setbacks this year.”

Suddarth Optical Repair provide outstanding advice on selecting the right optics for you and expert repair of your damaged binoculars, spotting scopes, field glasses, etc.

Other organizations dedicated to birding and wildlife conservation

Our Parent Organization:

National Audubon Society

Other Non-governmental organizations dedicated to conservation:

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

American Bird Conservancy

BirdLife International

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

The Nature Conservancy

George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center

Professional membership societies addressing science and conservation:

Ornithological Societies of North America

The Wildlife Society

Oklahoma Ornithological Society

Information on birds and birding resources:


Ornithology Exchange

Wonderful article on birding from Home Advisor!

Governmental bodies:

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Oklahoma State Legislature

US Department of the Interior

US Senate

US House of Representatives

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