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100 Things to Know: Backyard Birds & Bird Feeding

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100 Things to Know: Backyard Birds and Bird Feeding

100 Things to Know: Backyard Birds & Bird Feeding


The Bottom Line

Even the most experienced birders never know everything there is to know about birds, even the most familiar species in the backyard, and 100 Things to Know: Backyard Birds & Bird Feeding is sure to have tips and trivia to enhance anyone's backyard birding. From tips about the best foods for birds and how to attract birds to proper bird identification and just enjoying every bird you see, this compact and concise book is filled with useful information every backyard birder can find helpful.


  • Concisely written tips divided into related sections provide practical information and fascinating tips on many aspects of backyard birding.


  • Despite the 100 Things title, the tips are not numbered – but there are exactly 100 in the book.
  • Lacks cross referencing between related tips but does include a simple bibliography list for further reading.


  • Title: 100 Things to Know: Backyard Birds & Bird Feeding
  • Editor: Sandy Allison
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books
  • Publication Date: August 2007
  • Format: Softcover (Kindle edition also available)
  • Page Count: 69
  • ISBN: 978-0-8117-3431-8
  • Price: $9.95

Review - 100 Things to Know: Backyard Birds & Bird Feeding

A slim, unassuming, and affordable book, 100 Things to Know: Backyard Birds & Bird Feeding from Stackpole Books is a compilation of treasured tidbits, from practical advice and tips for backyard birding to surprisingly unique ideas for attracting birds, easy bird identification and just enjoying even the most common of backyard birds. Editor Sandy Allison has gathered concise tips from a range of authoritative sources, including other titles from Stackpole Books such as 101 Ways to Help Birds, Nature-Friendly Garden and various Wild Bird Guides. Information from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the American Bird Conservancy is also included to provide readers a well-rounded sample of expert advice.

The exactly 100 tips in the book are divided into four informative sections, with each individual tip denoted by a to-the-point bold subheading. The book's sections and the number of tips each includes are:

  • Feeders and Feeding (34 tips)
  • Attractive Backyard Features (23 tips)
  • Backyard Visitors (30 tips)
  • Bird-Watching (13 tips)

While the sections are not evenly balanced with tips, each one is thoroughly informative and the smallest section on basic birding covers how to get started birding even beyond the backyard with proper birding binoculars, keeping life lists, pishing and other topics for any birder ready to move from the yard into the wider range of local and regional birds.

The entire volume is written in an easy to read, conversational tone. Both beginning and advanced birders will be able to make use of clever tips and insightful information such as:

In general, the higher the proportion of protein and fat, the better the seed mixture.

Watermelons, cantaloupes, pumpkins, and squashes are filled with seeds many birds love.

In fact, virtually any nut- or fruit-bearing tree makes a terrific addition to a backyard bird sanctuary.

Waxwings are sometimes gluttonous; after gorging on overripe, fermented berries, they may droop and become comically tipsy.

Spend time studying your field guide when you're not watching the birds so you'll know exactly what to look for when they arrive.

The [Christmas Bird Count] database constitutes the longest continuous record of bird populations available in North America.

On their own, individual tips may seem overly simple, but each is augmented with additional information and suggestions for birders of any level to take to heart and implement in their own bird-friendly backyards. Furthermore, many of the tips dispel common myths about bird feeding and backyard birds, setting the record straight about issues such as when to feed birds, the dangers of wedding rice, winter bird baths, squirrel-proof bird feeders, outdoor cats and more. While some tips will already be familiar to experienced backyard birders, this collection is sure to include multiple tips that are new and useful no matter how long you have enjoyed backyard birds, disproving the notion that a thin, simple book is only for beginners and cannot be helpful to different experience levels.

100 Things to Know: Backyard Birds & Bird Feeding is a slim book that is both simple and complex. Easy to read, this book is ideal for beginning birders, but its wide range of unique and practical tips and trivia make it a pleasure for experienced birders as well. Handily divided into sections and labeled with clever subheadings for each of its 100 tidbits, this book is a great read for birders hoping to expand their backyard birding expertise quickly and easily.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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