There is hardly ever a bad time to view birds. But that being said, there are optimal times when your viewing will definitely be of higher quality.
In a busy world with limited time to enjoy the finer things in life, how do you find the right time to get the best viewing?
We provide you with a few quick tips to increase your viewing quality.
Best time of day to view birds
Birds, like humans, have patterns that they carry out their activities like feeding, roosting and other habits. Learning those patterns can help you get the best viewing in the time you have.
Birds spend most of their time trying to find food for themselves or to feed their hatchlings or mate. One of the most active feeding times is early in the morning when the sun rises and warms up insects. This makes it easier for insect-eating birds to forage. At the same time, other species are also recovering after a long night. The late evening has a similar pattern for feeding birds so they can store energy for the night.
Birds that enjoy sunning themselves are often easy to find in the mid-afternoon when the sun is at its best strength. Birds use the sun for temperature regulation and feather mite control, so this is a very opportune time to view birds in any season.
Birding by ear is much simpler when the birds are singing. During the spring and summer, birds are working hard to establish their territories and attract mates. They do this by often singing in the early morning (although some do sing at night) when it is still and sounds carry further. Birders who are in the field early morning are more likely to take advantage of the sounds birds make to find and identify different species.
Birds will drink at any time of day but are more likely to visit birdbaths and other water sources when the sun is at its hottest. Likely drinking times, particularly at garden bird baths, are the same times the birds are feeding; when they will take advantage of the water while simultaneously eating.
Familiarising yourself with the basics of bird behaviour is an easy way to learn when to go birding. It will provide lots of opportunities to view a variety of bird behaviours with different species of birds.