What Is A Bird Blind: How To Create A Bird Viewing Blind

Man Looking Towards Forest Bird Watching
bird blind
(Image credit: ElsvanderGun)

Watching birds as they perch on feeders through your window isn't the only way to enjoy these creatures. A bird blind lets you enjoy birds and other wildlife up close without scaring them away. Read on to find tips about making a bird blind.

What is a Bird Blind?

A bird blind is a structure that lets you watch birds without being seen. When you use a bird blind, you'll be able to get better photos because you can get closer to the birds, and they will behave naturally. A simple bird blind that requires no construction skills is a length of canvas draped over shrubs or a low-hanging tree branch. An A-frame bird blind is the most flexible because you can set it up anywhere. Build the frame in the shape of a sawhorse with hinges connecting the center support to the legs so that you can fold the frame like a book. Next, drape fabric or canvas over the frame and weigh down the edges with rocks. Cut holes in the fabric at a comfortable level for viewing. Here are some tips on bird blind design:

  • You can lie on your stomach in a low blind, but you won't be able to use it in wet or marshy areas. If you want to use it where the ground is wet, make it high enough that you can sit on a waterproof cushion or low camp stool.
  • Camouflage canvas, which is available in sporting goods stores, makes an excellent cover for your blind. You can also use burlap, which you can buy in garden supply stores.
  • Cut the holes just large enough for you and your camera lens to see.
  • Add stability to your frame by attaching the front and back with an 18 inch (46 cm.) length of chain. This keeps the frame from opening too far.
  • You can staple the fabric to the frame if you'd like, but make sure there is enough slack in the fabric to allow folding.

A Backyard Bird Blind

A portable bird viewing blind lets you watch birds from any location, but if you have a natural area in your yard or bordering on your property, you might want to build a more permanent structure in your backyard. A well-constructed permanent structure is durable and offers more comfort without the effort of setting up the blind every time. A permanent blind is like a garden shed with small holes for viewing. You may find that you don't need to hide a permanent structure. Once the birds get used to it, they will behave naturally. If you can place the blind in a shady location, you won't need a roof. Use cut branches to disguise blinds that are out in the open.

Jackie Carroll

Jackie Carroll has written over 500 articles for Gardening Know How on a wide range of topics.