Question: Where can I buy bird feeders and bird food in Orange County?
Answer: Some bird feeders and wild bird food can be found in regular pet stores like Petsmart, Petco, and others. Target, Walmart, feed stores, and even some grocery stores. The best selection that I have seen can be found in Wildbird Unlimited. They have locations all over Orange County and the United States.
Question: Should I feed the ducks and geese in the park?
Answer: Short answer is no. The reason being that in the park lots and lots of people feed the ducks. It is just too much food. Parks end up with too many birds in one place that simply hasn't got enough food to sustain them. Fouled water from decaying food and too many birds results in algae growth and illness. Plus people feed ducks and geese the wrong kind of food. Breads like sandwich bread, tortillas, bagels, sweets and snacks like donuts, chips, and the like are processed foods that are not nutritious. The birds like those foods--just like you and I would--but it is no better for them than it is for us or our children. Many counties and cities have laws against feeding the birds for just those reasons. For more information, see my posts on Odd Ducks and Carr Park. Please note that feeding squirrels in the park is also prohibited in many parks and is not advisable due to the huge increase in population caused by feeding which can severely affect the delicate balance of nature. Also squirrels that are fed lose their fear of people and can become aggressive.
Question: What is the best way to learn about birds in Orange County?
Answer: I would say the best things to do are
1) Buy a good bird guide. I recommend
2) Join Sea and Sage Audubon or a chapter near you. Sea and Sage has classes, field trips, and lots of people willing to share their knowledge with you. You can't beat it.
Answer: Unfortunately, I only answer questions through this column or Facebook. Since there are times people may not want to ask questions in a forum such as this or Facebook, but prefer to speak with someone or email them, here are several resources that may be helpful:
Focuses on birds of prey.
Wildlife rescue in south Orange County.
Shipley Nature Center
Nature Center in Huntington Beach.
San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary
Wildlife Sanctuary run by Sea and Sage in Irvine.
Sea and Sage Audubon
The local Audubon Society in Central and Northern Orange County. The only Orange County Audubon on the web.