By Angela

Bird Feeding and Watchingbird-house

Therapeutic Benefits:


  • Provides opportunities for problem-solving (i.e., how to keep squirrels from raiding the bird feeders, how to attract a particular kind of bird, what to put out for nesting materials)
  • Increases memory skills by identifying birds by sight or sound, and learning about their behavior
  • Provides opportunities for sequencing by following a recipe for home made suet or other bird treats
  • Watching birds can help with focus and attention span


  • Provides opportunities to get outside in the sun and fresh air, often producing positive feelings of well-being and being alive
  • Encourages mobility so that a person moves their body in different ways (i.e., reaching, bending)
  • Encourages eye-hand coordination when filling bird feeders
  • May encourage strengthening by doing activities such as lifting containers of bird seed


  • Increases communication skills by providing something interesting to talk about with others
  • Bird watching and feeding provide rich opportunities for receptive language skills (i.e., even though a person may not be able to talk about things around them, they can understand and learn from what other people are saying)
  • For individuals with auditory hyper-sensitivities, listening to bird sounds in nature may be a tolerable activity


  • Helps build a sense of self-esteem as the person is able to do things related to the hobby
  • Decreases social isolation by providing an activity to do with others who share this hobby
  • Helps person stay connected to the world around him/her even if it is just a connection to nature
  • Mixing special treats in with the bird seed (i.e., peanuts, raisins) using your hands provides a calming sensory activity
  • Provides feelings of normalcy since this is an activity enjoyed by people without handicaps
  • Regular chores of filling bird feeders when empty may provide a sense of purpose
  • Feeling the warmth of the sun or a gentle breeze while listening to and watching birds may provide a relaxing activity to do
  • Being out in nature watching the birds may be uplifting to a person’s mood

Equipment and Supplies to Consider:bird-feeder1

  • A pole system
  • Bird feeder(s)
  • Squirrel baffle
  • Bird bath
  • Birding binoculars
  • Bird house
  • Bird seed, suet and food
  • Wild bird book – backyard bird identification guide specific to your state
  • Digital camera
  • Subscription to a backyard bird magazine

Magazine Subscriptions:

Birds & Blooms magazine

Bird Watcher’s Digest

Birders’ World

Websites related to products:bird-feeder2

Backyard Bird Watcher

Doctors Foster and Smith – Wild Bird Products


Rachel’s Robin

Wild Bird Habitat Store

Wild Birds Unlimited – They do not offer purchases on the internet, but can help you locate a Wild Birds Unlimited store nearest you. They have wonderful products, many of which come with lifetime guarantees.


Websites Articles on Bird Feeding and Watching:

Attract Birds with Baths & Shelters

Attract Birds with Birdbaths

Bird Feeder Articles: Squirrel proof feeders, Hummingbird feeders, Wooden bird feeders, Tube feeders

Bird Feeder Tips – Everything You Wanted To Know About Bird Feeders

Choose the Right Binocularbluejay2

Duncan’s Attracting Specific Bird Articles: Bluebirds, Cardinals, Hummingbirds, City Feeding Birds, Orioles, Purple Martins, Robins, Tanagers, Woodpeckers, Wrens, Food & Feeder Guides

Duncan’s Top 10 Articles: Birdfeeding Questions & Answers, Bird Feeding Myths, Backyard Birding Questions, Mistakes with Purple Martins, How to Prevent Window Strikes, Ways to Attract Hummingbirds

Duncraft’s Bird Feeding Articles: Bird Feeding Do’s and Don’ts, Wild Bird Nutrition, Preparing Your Yard for Winter Bird Survival, Feeding Your Birds in the Winter, My Chickadee and Bird Window Strikes

Duncraft’s Guide to Bird Housesbinoculars3

Educational Resources on numerous subjects: Bird feeding and bird care, Bird species information, other backyard visitors, bird behavior and habitat.

Foster and Smith Information Center – articles about attracting various species of birds, winter feeding tips, etc.

How to Choose Birding Binoculars

Photographing Wild Birds: Tips


Click below for printable handout





© Angela Cramer, 2008

Clipart is the property of Jupiterimages made available through subscription:
© Jupiterimages Corporation, 2008


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