Birding Beyond Your Backyard in the Berkshires

Birding Beyond Your Backyard

Anyone who wants to learn how to identify local birds by sight and sound will be interested in this new free program, “Birding Beyond Your Backyard,” organized by the Hoffmann Bird Club.

After watching the antics of a pair of cardinals, a posse of bluejays or a twittering troop of finches, many people become backyard birders. First, there is the rush to the supermarket to buy a simple feeder and a five-pound bag of seed. Just sit back and watch the birds come in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then, it’s off to Tractor Supply for more and different types of feeders, a forty-pound bag of seed and a bit of suet.

Within days, the resident birds fly out of the woods into the newest avian restaurant. With a Peterson’s or a Sibley’s in hand, identification is easy: Chickadees and titmice, nuthatches and finches, cardinals and blue jays, hairy and downy woodpeckers. As spring rolls around, a few sparrows stop in, maybe a turkey or two, and now blackbirds and grackles.

Yet the wild areas of the Berkshires are graced with many other species, species perhaps too shy to come to the exposed feeder or maybe a species that’s just passing through during the migration. Here is the opportunity to step out beyond your backyard and learn to observe and identify more and different species.

The “Birding Beyond Your Backyard (BBYB) two-hour walks are free and open to all. There will be a walk at 7:30AM each Saturday in April through four different birding territories in the Berkshires led by an expert birder. In order to be better organized, pre-registration is encouraged. Just call Dave at 413-655-8594 or email

Here are the Saturday BBYB walks for April 2010:

  • April 3rd, Pittsfield Lakes 7:30AM
  • April 10th, Canoe Meadows 7:30AM
  • April 17th, Gulf Road, Dalton 7:30AM
  • April 24th, Springfield Park 7:30AM

So if you would like to reserve a place, register now for one or more of these exciting “Birding Beyond Your Backyard” walks!

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