CBD, one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant, has been getting a lot of attention recently. Some of it good and some of it bad. Increasingly, people in the UK are turning to CBD oils for help in relieving pain, anxiety, sleep and a host of other health issues. Find out which brands made our list of the best CBD oil in the U.K. below.
While CBD is gaining in popularity, and more products are becoming available on the high street and online, there is little scientific research to back the claims made by some CBD product manufacturers. That's why if you're going to buy CBD oil it is important to understand what you're purchasing and to choose products from brands that lab test their products and make the results available to customers.
To help you find the best CBD oil available in the UK, we've done all the hard work and created a list of the best CBD oil brands and products that are available online for you to choose from.
Our Top Picks for Best CBD Oils in the U.K.
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
How We Chose the Best CBD in the U.K
To create this list of CBD oil producers and sellers, we've:
- Spoken with over 100 different producers
- Tested over 50 products for potency, quality and accuracy of labelling
- Tried every product on the list
We've tested CBD oils for taste, consistency, cannabinoid profile, value, and accuracy of lab test results to compile our list of the best CBD oils available online today.
Our readers also provide feedback on the brands they've tried and like or don't rate so much. We take our readers' feedback into consideration when we make our Buyer's Guides.
We also work directly with many of the leading CBD brands to bring you their latest offers and discounts, so it's worth checking back to see how you can continue to get the best value CBD oils for your money.
It is important to note that the details for the products listed here are not intended for diagnosing, treating, curing or preventing any particular disease. If you take prescription medicines you should speak to your GP or other healthcare professional before you take CBD oil about possible drug on drug interactions.
In this buyer's guide to CBD oils in the U.K., you'll find:
- A list of the brands we trust most
- A price comparison chart to help you find the best value CBD oil
- The potential benefits that you can derive from CBD oil
- CBD dosage recommendations
- How to pick the best CBD oil for your needs
CBD oil works differently for everyone and just because something works well for a friend or colleague doesn't necessarily mean it'll be as effective for you. Fortunately, there are many options out there to choose from. The CBD market is growing fast, however, quality can vary between brands, which is why we have conducted our own research to compile a list of CBD products that we think are the best.
Evopure CBD drops are independently tested and they offer a line of broad spectrum hemp oil in multiple concentrations. As a bonus, all of their oils are extracted from organically grown US hemp on farms that use sustainable farming practices. The Flow blend is best for stress and anxiety. Evopure also has a sleep blend available.
Why buy: Since these drops use broad spectrum CBD oil, they contain zero THC while still providing you with all of the other benefits of a full spectrum oil. They are also organic, vegan, and non-GMO.
If you're looking for a tasty CBD oil, there are various flavours available at Love Hemp, including natural, peppermint, and orange. Their CBD products are also certified THC free, and have a precise amount of CBD for easy dosing.
Why buy: Love Hemp is the leading CBD brand in the UK and for good reason, we haven't found a better product for the price.
CBDistillery offers a range of CBD products, including oil tinctures, softgels, gummies, and topicals. Their most popular product is the Relief + Relax CBD oil, made with full spectrum CBD in several different potencies.
Why buy: All products from CBDistillery use CBD sourced from non-GMO industrial hemp grown using natural farming methods in the U.S. The CBD oil they use is CO2 extracted and tested by independent third-party labs.
aire tinctures are natural, organic, and ethically sourced. The oils contain no THC and are tested by the Cannabis Trade Association approved testing laboratories. Each 10ml bottle contains 1500mg of CBD.
Why buy: Since this is a stronger blend, aire recommends the 015 bottle for more experienced CBD users.
As the most popular tincture from Blessed CBD, this 1,000mg formula is potent and full-spectrum, but still contains less than 0.2% THC. This family run business spent 12 months searching for the best hemp source, eventually settling on a hemp extract from organically grown, non-GMO, hemp plants in Colorado. This ensures that each drop of CBD oil contains rich cannabinoids and terpenes for enhanced effects.
Why buy: We didn't find a single negative review online, which speaks volumes for the quality and effectiveness of their products.
For a tincture with a high potency, the No. 30 CBD oil from Eir Health contains 3000mg of CBD in one 30mL bottle. This equates to 100mg per serving.
Why buy: This full spectrum oil is packed with cannabinoids and terpenes that come from organically grown European hemp plants.
The key numbers to look at are the cost of CBD per mg (how much you're paying for your CBD) and the mg of CBD per mL (how much CBD you're getting per milligram). Where possible, compare each brand's 1,000mg product. It's worth bearing in mind that a higher strength bottle may be more cost effective in the long run.
For instance, Eir Health's 30ml 3,000mg bottle works out at £0.04 per milligram and delivers 100 milligrams per milliliter. So if you're looking for a higher strength bottle which will last you, paying slightly more initially would be beneficial. It's worth bearing in mind that a higher strength bottle may be more cost effective in the long run. For instance, Eir Health's 30ml 3,000mg bottle works out at £0.04 per milligram and delivers 100 milligrams per milliliter. So if you're looking for a higher strength bottle which will last you, paying slightly more initially would be beneficial.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is short for cannabidiol and is a chemical compound found in all varieties of the cannabis plant. CBD oil has become popular in recent years due to changing worldwide legislation. In the UK specifically, there were several high-profile medical cases relating to medicinal cannabis and the treatment of children with epilepsy and other health conditions. CBD is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis and, it's thought, the primary cannabinoid that interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system. This system promotes homeostasis, or balance, and regulates physiological and cognitive functions such as mood, appetite, and how we feel pain caused by inflammation.
CBD oil is produced using a range of extraction methods, including CO2 or ethanol extraction, and then added to a carrier oil, such as MCT coconut oil, to create a tincture with a broad range of possible health benefits. CBD oil is just one form that this cannabinoid can be found in and is different to hemp seed oil, which is generally used as a dietary supplement for the essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals it imparts. Hemp seed oil is produced by cold pressing hemp seeds and creating a dark coloured oil with the nutrient-rich composition described above. CBD, on the other hand, is extracted from the flower and leaves of hemp plants.
CBD is wildly popular for its potential therapeutic effects, which some clinical trials and animal studies have found to help with a number of symptoms and conditions that CBD may help alleviate, including:
Benefits of CBD Oil
- Chronic pain
The most common health and lifestyle issues that people turn to CBD oil for are:
- Anxiety – CBD oil has been found to relieve symptoms of anxiety in people in several small studies. This is not restricted to one form of anxiety as social anxiety, generalised anxiety, panic attacks and some forms of depression have all been found to be relieved with CBD oil. It's thought that this is achieved by changing the way the brain reacts to anxiety.
- Pain – CBD oil for pain is another area that anecdotal evidence and limited medical studies show people may find relief. CBD may help reduce inflammation in the body and therefore, relieve pain. Chronic pain, back pain and generalised pain have all been shown to be relieved with CBD oil.
- Sleep – Falling asleep and staying asleep for longer periods may be enhanced with CBD oil. Both direct and indirect benefits for sleep can be derived from CBD oil. An oil or edible form of CBD can help to calm the mind (indirect) and in some cases, taking CBD can make the user drowsy (direct).
While there are a wide range of benefits that may be derived from CBD oil, the MHRA – which stands for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and is the equivalent to America's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – has taken the stance that unless a CBD product has been approved as a medication it cannot make any medical claims on its packaging or in its marketing. This means producers need to hold a product licence to legally sell, supply or advertise them as medicine in the UK. However, no licences for selling CBD oil as a medicine have been granted by the MHRA to date. The MHRA advises people to speak to their GP or other healthcare professional if they are considering taking CBD products.
Is CBD Oil Legal in the UK?
Yes, but there is some confusion. In the UK and EU, CBD products are completely legal, as long as they have been derived from industrial hemp and contain no more than 1mg of THC per product. But the general advice is that UK CBD oil should contain no more than 0.01% THC, as current testing standards may not be able to detect 1mg of THC.
It has been reported that CBD Oil in the UK with no more than 0.2% THC is legal but this only applies to the cultivation of hemp and not CBD oils, which are hemp derivatives. Also, any THC contained in CBD products must be difficult to separate from the rest of the product. There are two exceptions to this law; one for Sativex, a 50% CBD and 50% THC product approved by the MHRA as a medication for treating multiple sclerosis symptoms, and for the prescription of cannabis derived medicinal products by specialist clinicians. The second exception came into law in November of 2018 after several cases were brought to court requesting the use of medical cannabis products to alleviate severe epileptic symptoms in two children.
CBD Strength and Concentrations
Concentrations of CBD in oils vary from 1mg of CBD per millilitre to 50 or 400mg per millilitre.
If a bottle has 1000mg of CBD in a 10ml bottle, this means that 100mg of CBD is dissolved in every 1ml of liquid. You can work out the number of milligrams of CBD in each millilitre by dividing the milligrams (weight) of CBD by the millilitres (volume) of the bottle; for this example, that's 1000 divided by 10 which works out at 100mg per ml.
Many UK-based brands highlight the percentage of CBD in their products, such as 5% or 10% CBD. This simply refers to the weight of the drug by volume measured in grams in 100 millilitres. Using the example above, we need to convert 1,000 milligrams to grams, which is 1 gram of CBD, that's our weight. And as the bottle is 10ml, we divide 1 gram by 10 millilitres, and multiply by 100 to get our percentage, which is 10%.
How to Dose with CBD Oil
Advice on how much CBD oil you should take varies. It's almost impossible to find a definitive answer based on clinical guidance so people need to experiment in order to find out what works best for them. It's wise to start with a low dose and work your way up to find a dosage that works for you. Understanding different product types and labelling will help you to properly measure the amount of CBD to take.
Because dose guidelines are limited, it's best to start low and work your way up to a dose of CBD oil that works for you. One resource we've found suggests starting at 1 – 6mg of CBD per 10lbs of body weight. This would mean an average UK woman weighing 11 stone, could take anywhere between 15 – 92mg of CBD per dose. This could be broken into smaller doses throughout the day instead of taking all in one go.
Typically, 10ml works out to approximately 200 drops. Using the same example above, we know 1ml contains 100mg of CBD. That would mean to take 100mg of CBD you would need 20 drops of the CBD Oil. We got to that number by dividing 200 by 10. To get 15mg of CBD you would need to take only 3 drops.
What is the Correct CBD Oil Dosage?
How to take CBD and the concentrations for each does will vary depending on the condition you are looking to find relief from. For example, if you're taking CBD oil for anxiety, regular, lower doses seems to be appropriate. CBD oil for sleep calls for a single, higher dose no more than an hour before bed. That's not medical advice, that's what we've gleaned from people who use CBD products.
Dosing is the most common question people have about CBD oil and other products. It's also the question we're most often asked. We cannot overstate the fact that there is no one definitive answer.
With that being said, here is a typical dosing guide to help you get started:
CBD Oil Dosing Guide
How your body reacts to CBD is different to everyone else. The reason to take CBD is also personal to you – some people want to feel relaxed, others are thinking of a daily supplement to boost their health. CBD oil capsules can give your body a steady supply of cannabinoids to absorb over the course of the day. Oils will have you feeling the effects faster, but they still take time a small amount of time to work their way into your system (usually somewhere between 5 and 20 minutes). If you don't feel the effects immediately, don't take more. CBD can have an accumulative effect so wait a while before re-dosing.
Use Your Head
If you want to take 50mg of CBD and buy gummies containing 10mg each, consider the amount of sugar you'll also consume to get your CBD dose. Remember you're looking for a supplement, not a sugary snack. Choose the product that makes the most sense in regard to the dose of CBD you wish to take.
It's also worth considering price. If you find oils that declare 500mg of CBD for £15, yet everywhere else is selling the same for £50, ask yourself a few questions. Is it likely that the cheaper brand has found a way to lower the cost of growing, extracting and packaging their CBD that the others haven't? It's more likely that the cheaper brand is making bogus claims or misleading you in regards to the quality of CBD in their product? Check online guides, research brands, read a comparison list, and do your homework so you are sure you are purchasing the best CBD products for your individual circumstances.
How to Buy the Right CBD Oil Online
Consider How Much You Want to Spend
Before you purchase CBD oil online, you should consider how much you're comfortable spending. Products can be expensive, so setting an upward limit can help you narrow down the selection and find something that works for you, without breaking your budget.
Check the Test Results
The best CBD products and brands show third-party test results on their websites, or sometimes send them to you if requested. There are a few points you should look out for when viewing test results that can help you decide which brand is best for you.
- Batch numbers – Some brands are fastidious about testing and you can check individual batch numbers for products. This lets you follow a crop from soil, to lab, to bottle. Test results should be recent, within the last quarter is good, within the past year is acceptable, anything more is less helpful.
- Cannabinoid strength, potency and terpene levels – A recent UK study by the Centre for Medical Cannabis found 62% of UK CBD mislabelled. Checking on test results can help you confirm the CBD, THC and other terpene levels found in products.
- Heavy metals and pesticides – Hemp sucks up whatever is in the soil. This can compromise the quality of CBD products and is why we like established brands that use land free from pesticides and heavy metals, as opposed to pop-up brands that may source their product from growers using unproven ground. Test results should show the heavy metal content of CBD products is below the safe threshold.
- Solvents and bacteria – All CBD products should be free from solvents and manufactured in clean facilities that are free from bacteria such as salmonella.
If you are making a purchase via the internet, always make sure to review recent Certificates of Analysis.
Check to See What Kind of CBD Extract is Used in the Product
CBD products in the UK fall into three different categories: Full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate. Full and Broad-spectrum CBD oils are thought to have greater therapeutic benefits as the multiple cannabinoids work together. This is known as the 'entourage effect'. Experts we have spoken to support the idea of 'whole-plant therapy'. Some people may prefer CBD isolate if they are subject to drug tests through work and so on.
Consider the Taste
Some people can stand the taste of hemp. The earthy green flavour can be a turn off. Some CBD oil products have milder hemp flavours or natural additives that mask the hemp flavour to make them more palatable.
While you need to be aware of scammers, there are a lot of great brands that care about their product and customers. In terms of taste and strength of product, you may find it helps to try a range of brands to find the one that suits your personal preferences best.
Is CBD oil safe?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) released a report in 2017 stating that there was little potential for abuse of CBD. Furthermore, they recognised the potential therapeutic benefits that could be derived from CBD for treating a wide range of conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, cancer and diabetic complications, along with general pain, anxiety and depression.
Does CBD get you stoned?
No. CBD is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis. THC is the compound that has a psychoactive effect when taken in large enough doses (more than the 0.2% found in CBD products). Someone would need to smoke a CBD joint the size of a telephone mast to feel any psychoactive effects. CBD products allow people to get beneficial cannabinoids into their system to help their body function better, without becoming 'high' or 'stoned'.
How long does CBD oil last?
This partly depends on how quickly your body processes CBD and also the kind of CBD product you use. 6 – 8 hours is generally the length of time CBD oils will provide a noticeable effect.
Some products, like capsules are considered a daily supplement that needs to be taken over a period of time for it to reach its potential. Other kinds of CBD are faster acting and stronger; these types of products are better for specific issues such as social anxiety, problems with public speaking, or irregular and unexpected pain or discomfort.
Can I take too much CBD Oil?
You need to be careful about taking anything that will affect your health and if you are taking other medication, you should definitely discuss how CBD might interact with them, with your GP or healthcare professional. That said, most experts agree it is impossible to overdoes on CBD and even the World Health Organisation has published a report stating CBD is non-toxic and safe to use.
If you do take a very high dose of CBD, you may experience dizziness, lethargy, nausea, dry mouth and diarrhoea, but this will pass as your body processes the dose you have taken.
Other Types of CBD Products
This page covers most of what you need to know about CBD oils. If you're in the states, we also have this helpful list of organic CBD oil brands. There are lots of CBD products on the market, and each have their pros and cons.
If you're interested in CBD gummies, topicals, capsules or anything else, check out our additional online guides to find out all about the CBD product that interests you most.
Melena Gurganus is passionate about health and wellness and her writing aims to help others find products they can trust. Her work has been featured in publications such as Health, Shape, Huffington Post, Cannabis Business Times, and Bustle.
In celebration of Earth Day, a star-studded cast is giving fans a rare glimpse into the secret lives of some of the planet's most majestic animals: whales. In "Secrets of the Whales," a four-part documentary series by renowned National Geographic Photographer and Explorer Brian Skerry and Executive Producer James Cameron, viewers plunge deep into the lives and worlds of five different whale species.
<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b102b19b2719f50272ab718c44703dd0"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xOySOlB78dM?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Herring are a primary food source for Norway's orcas. Luis Lamar / National Geographic for Disney+
Belugas are extremely social creatures with a varied vocal range. Peter Kragh / National Geographic for Disney+
A Southern Right whales is pictured in the accompanying book, "Secrets of the Whales." Brian Skerry / National Geographic
The coronavirus has isolated many of us in our homes this year. We've been forced to slow down a little, maybe looking out our windows, becoming more in tune with the rhythms of our yards. Perhaps we've begun to notice more, like the birds hopping around in the bushes out back, wondering (maybe for the first time) what they are.
A Coeligena helianthea hummingbird is photographed during a birdwatching trail at the Monserrate hill in Bogota on November 11, 2020. Colombia is the country with the largest bird diversity in the world, home to about 1,934 different bird species, a fifth of the total known. JUAN BARRETO / AFP / Getty Images
1. Choosing the Right Binoculars<p>Binoculars are a relatively indispensable tool for most birders – but, for those just starting out, it might not yet be worth the several-hundred-dollar investment. If you aren't able to scour the attics of friends or borrow a pair from a fellow bird watcher, some local birding and naturalist groups have <a href="https://vashonaudubon.org/all-about-vashon-birds/binoculars-check-out/" target="_blank">binocular loaning programs</a> for members, allowing you to plan ahead for a day (or week) of birding.</p><p>When you're ready to take the plunge, choosing a pair or binoculars should take some careful deliberation based on your needs and preferences; some <a href="https://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/bwdsite/explore/optics/top-10-tips-buying-binoculars-bird-watching.php" target="_blank">major considerations</a> might include size, ease of use, <a href="https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/binoculars.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">magnification</a>, and price. While professional binoculars can easily run north of $1,000, there are plenty of perfectly suitable entry-level binoculars under $200. You might not get the perfect precision and clarity of more elite models, but a less expensive pair will allow you to strengthen your birding skills while deciding if you're interested in investing in a premium pair.</p><p>For a budget-friendly option, check out resale options on eBay, Facebook marketplace, or neighborhood yard sales: you might find a nicer pair whose retail price isn't within your budget.</p>
2. Know What Birds Are in Your Area<p>When I began to pay more attention to the birds just outside my apartment building, I started to learn what species have always been around me: European starlings, house sparrows, blue jays, black capped chickadees, and the occasional red-bellied woodpecker. They had always been there, but I hadn't ever taken the time to identify them. Once you learn to <a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/get-know-these-20-common-birds_" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">recognize common birds</a> in your area, you'll be able to identify the typical species right outside your window and in your community. Of course, permanent residential birds in your neighborhood will <a href="https://nestwatch.org/learn/focal-species/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">vary by region</a>, as will those migrating through it.</p>
3. Get Out and Explore<p>Venturing elsewhere might allow you to spot some different species beyond those frequenting your backyard. Anywhere with water or greenery offers a place for birding; as an urbanite myself, I've found that even small- and mid-sized parks in New York City allow me to find more elusive birds (although Central Park takes the crown for an afternoon of urban birding).</p><p>If you are able to travel a bit further from home, <a href="https://www.fws.gov/refuges/" target="_blank">national wildlife refuges</a> and <a href="https://www.americasstateparks.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">state/national parks</a> are excellent places to explore bird habitats and perhaps log some less-common sightings. The American Birding Association also lists <a href="https://www.aba.org/aba-area-birding-trails/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">birding trails by state</a>, and Audubon and BirdLife International identify <a href="https://www.audubon.org/important-bird-areas" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Important Bird Areas (IBAs)</a> across the country – important bird habitats and iconic places that activists are fighting to protect – where birders can spot birds of significance.</p>
4. Finding a Bird: Stop, Look, Listen, Repeat<p>The National Audubon Society recommends the "<a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/how-find-bird" target="_blank">stop, look, listen, repeat</a>" mantra when seeking and identifying birds.</p><p>First and foremost, spotting birds requires attention. Stopping – getting out of the car, pausing on the sidewalk, trail, or in the backyard to look up – is the most important step.</p><p>When looking for birds, try to avoid gazing wildly around; rather, scan your surroundings, focusing on any odd shapes or shadows, trying to think about where a bird might perch (power lines, fence posts, branches), or keep an eye on the sky for flying eagles and hawks. In open areas like fields and beaches, you might have a more panoramic view, and can take in different sections of the landscape at a time. Look around with the naked eye before reaching for the binoculars to hone in.</p><p>While it can be hard to sift through the noise, listening for birds is perhaps an even more important element of bird watching than looking. Once you spend more time in the field, you'll be able to parse apart the racket and identify specific species, especially aided by Audubon's Bird Guide app or by learning from their <a href="https://www.audubon.org/section/birding-ear" target="_blank">Birding by Ear series</a>.</p><p>Repeat this pattern as you continue on your way, stopping to look and listen for birds as you go, rather than waiting for them to come to you. </p>
5. Identification<p>When you head out for a day of bird watching – especially when you're hoping to spot some new species – you'll want to be armed with the tools to identify what you see. <a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/how-identify-birds" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Major considerations when identifying birds</a> are their group (such as owls, hawks, or sparrow-like birds), size and shape, behavior, voice, field marks, season, and habitat.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.sibleyguides.com/about/the-sibley-guide-to-birds/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Sibley Guide to Birds</a> and the <a href="https://www.hmhbooks.com/shop/books/peterson-field-guide-to-birds-of-north-america-second-edition/9781328771445" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Peterson Field Guide</a> are widely considered the best books for identifying birds in North America, although many <a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/what-bird-guide-best-you" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">specialized guides</a> focus on specific species or regions as well.</p><p>Plenty of <a href="https://blog.nature.org/science/2013/05/27/boucher-bird-blog-apps-smart-birder/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">bird identification apps</a> have popped up in recent years – including National Geographic Birds, Sibley eGuide to Birds, iNaturalist, Merlin Bird ID, and Birdsnap – which are basically a <a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/the-best-birding-apps-and-field-guides" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">field guide in your pocket</a>. I'm partial to the Audubon Bird Guide, which allows users to filter by common identifiers, including a bird's habitat, color, activity, tail shape, and general type, adding them all to a personal map to view your sightings.</p>
6. Recording Your Sightings<p><span>As you deepen your commitment to birding, you might join the community of birders that track and quantify their sightings, building their </span><a href="https://www.thespruce.com/what-birds-count-on-a-life-list-386704#:~:text=A%20life%20list%20is%20a,which%20birds%20you%20have%20seen." target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">life list</a><span>.</span></p><p>While a standard notebook noting the date, species name, habitat, vocalizations, or any other data you wish to include will suffice, some birders opt for a more <a href="https://www.riteintherain.com/no-195-birders-journal" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">structured birder's journal</a> with pre-determined fields to record your encounters, take notes, draw sketches, etc.</p><p>Many birders also choose to record their sightings online and in shared databases (which include many of the field guide apps), often pinpointing them on a map for others to view. Launched by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon, <a href="https://ebird.org/home" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">eBird is one of the largest databases and citizen science projects around birding</a>, where hundreds of thousands of birders enter their sightings, and users can explore birds in regions and hotspots around the world. Users can also record their sightings on the <a href="https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ebird/id988799279" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">eBird app</a>.</p>
7. Attracting Birds to Your Own Yard<p>Feeding birds is a common phenomenon: more than 40% of Americans maintain a birdfeeder to attract birds and watch them feast.</p><p>Not all birdfeed is created equal, however. Many commercial varieties are mostly made with "fillers" (oats, red millet, etc.) that birds will largely leave untouched. After researching what birds to expect in your area – and which ones you want to attract – you can create your own birdfeed with <a href="https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/types-of-bird-seed-a-quick-guide/?pid=1142" target="_blank">seeds that will appeal to them</a>.</p><p>Beyond filling a birdfeeder, <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/eco-friendly-lawn-2651194858.html" target="_self">transforming your yard into an eco-friendly oasis</a> is by far the best way to attract birds. Choosing to forgo mowing your lawn, planting native flowers and grasses, and ditching the pesticides will bring back the bugs that birds feed on, and provide a safe haven in which birds can happily live and eat.</p><p>While it's widely considered acceptable – and even beneficial – to feed birds with appropriate seeds, communal birdfeeders often <a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/to-feed-or-not-feed" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">foster unlikely interactions between different species</a>, who can then transmit harmful diseases and parasites to one another. Maintaining several bird feeders with different types of seeds might keep different species from coming into contact, and feeders can be <a href="https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/how-to-clean-your-bird-feeder/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cleaned to prevent the spread of infection</a>.</p>
8. Inclusivity and Anti-Racism in the Birding Community<p>Like all outdoor activities and areas of scientific study, birding communities are subject to racist and discriminatory ideologies. Black birders have long experienced discrimination and underrepresentation in outdoor spaces. The work of organizations like the <a href="https://www.instagram.com/birdersfund/" target="_blank">Black & Latinx Birders Fund</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/birdability/" target="_blank">Birdability</a>, and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/feministbirdclub/" target="_blank">Feminist Bird Club</a> highlight the contributions and importance of birders of color, birders with disabilities, and women and LGBTQ+ birders to the birding community, as do activists and naturalists like <a href="https://www.instagram.com/hood__naturalist/" target="_blank">Corina Newsome</a> and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/tykeejames/" target="_blank">Tykee James</a>. The work of <a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/its-bird-new-comic-written-central-park-birder-christian-cooper" target="_blank">Christian Cooper</a>, <a href="https://camilledungy.com/publications/" target="_blank">Camille Dungy</a> (read her poem <a href="https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/58363/frequently-asked-questions-10" target="_blank">Frequently Asked Questions: 10</a>), and <a href="https://orionmagazine.org/article/9-rules-for-the-black-birdwatcher/" target="_blank">J. Drew Lanham</a> – including his essay "<a href="https://lithub.com/birding-while-black/" target="_blank">Birding While Black</a>" – are a great place to start.</p><p>Getting involved in birding means educating ourselves on these issues and taking meaningful action; the work of <a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/its-bird-new-comic-written-central-park-birder-christian-cooper" target="_blank">Christian Cooper</a> and <a href="https://orionmagazine.org/article/9-rules-for-the-black-birdwatcher/" target="_blank">J. Drew Lanham</a> – including his essay "<a href="https://lithub.com/birding-while-black/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Birding While Black</a>" – are a great place to start. Just as birders are activists for protecting habitats and natural areas, we must also be active and aware of inclusivity in these spaces.</p>
9. Get Involved<p>To learn from and enjoy the company of other birders, check out local birding groups in your area to join. Many Audubon chapters host trips, meetings, and bird walks for members. The American Birding Association even maintains a <a href="https://www.aba.org/festivals-events/" target="_blank">directory of birding festivals</a> across the country.</p><p>Volunteering for birds is also a great way to meet other birders and take action for birds in your community; local organizations might have opportunities for assisting with habitat restoration or helping at birding centers.</p><p>Like all wildlife, climate change and habitat destruction threaten the livelihood of birds, eliminating their breeding grounds and food sources. A <a href="https://www.audubon.org/climate/survivalbydegrees" target="_blank">2019 report released by the National Audubon Society</a> found that two-thirds of North American birds may face extinction if global temperatures rise 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. Staying informed about and taking action for legislation designed to protect birds and our climate – such as the recent <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5552/text" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Migratory Bird Protection Act</a> – is important for ensuring a livable future for wildlife and humans alike.</p><p><em>Linnea graduated from Skidmore College in 2019 with a Bachelor's degree in English and Environmental Studies, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Most recently, Linnea worked at Hunger Free America, and has interned with WHYY in Philadelphia, Saratoga Living Magazine, and the Sierra Club in Washington, DC. </em><em>Linnea enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors, reading, practicing her German, and volunteering on farms and gardens and for environmental justice efforts in her community. Along with journalism, she is also an essayist and writer of creative nonfiction.</em></p>
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