This weekend is the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch (https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch) where you can help to collect vital information about the bird life in our gardens and outdoor spaces. It is simple to do and a great activity to inspire future conservationists. So with this in mind I have come up with a few birdwatching tips and games for you to enjoy.
- Take a pair of binoculars, either real or homemade, it helps you to focus on the birds for identification. Keep looking at the bird and bring the binoculars to your eyes and that should enable you to see the bird you want through the binoculars straight away.
- Be patient
- Be quiet and keep as still as possible. If you have a window or bird hide to watch from this will help prevent the birds seeing your movement or hearing you.
- Make it a game or challenge to keep children engaged.
Bird colour match:
Make yourself a colour chart with pens or pencils to take with you on your next walk or to use when taking part in the Big Garden Bird Watch. Can you find each of the colours on your chart on the birds? Tick them off as you find them.
This is a great activity for encouraging closer observation of the birds, the colour you are looking for might be the birds beak or feet or on their wing tips.
Each person picks a bird they think they will see when on a walk or bird watching. Make sure each person has a different bird. Simply count the number of times you see that type of bird and whoever sees the most wins.
This helps to encourage children to search for birds.
Each person to write down or find pictures of 5 different birds to make a list. Try to encourage a bit of variation between lists. Take these with you on a walk or have with you for the Bird Watch and tick off the birds on your list as you see them. If you are feeling adventurous, add more birds to your list.
This will help with their identification skills.
Listen carefully to the bird song (there are some great apps available if you want to identify them) and try to copy them. Take it in turns to copy the sounds, make the sounds together, find more people to join your ‘orchestra’.
Bird identification can be done with both visual sighting and sound so knowing birdsong can be important.