Whenever you go outside what is the one type of wildlife you are most likely to see? Birds. No matter where you go in this world, apart from areas permanently covered in ice, you will see birds. Anytime of the day in any weather, in the city or in the countryside, there will be birds nearby, even if you can’t see them, you’ll probably hear them.
In Ireland alone there are 450 species of birds that will spend at least part of the year here. Birding is reported to be one of the fastest-growing outdoor activities all around the world, and it is your choice to where you go and watch them. BirdWatch Ireland currently have over 15,000 members and supporters and a local network of over 30 branches nationwide.
The easiest way to get started in Bird Watching is to bring the birds to your own garden, this allows you to see them up close. Some ways you can attract birds into your garden include:
- Proper bird feeding all year round.
- Growing specialised plants in your backyard to attract birds.
- Provide nesting sites or nesting boxes and birdhouses.
- Provide birds with water either through a bird bath during warm and dry weather.
Once you have attracted the birds you could get involved sketching them or trying to catch that perfect picture, or you could just sit back and enjoy all the different bird songs.
Some of the basic tips for bird watching are:
- Try to observe the birds so they don’t know you are there. Move slowly, make as little noise as possible, and keep your distance.
- Going too close to a nest or repeatedly scaring a bird off its nest can cause the parents to abandon their nest leaving the eggs vulnerable to predators. On no account try to touch the eggs or the young birds as this can also cause the parents to abandon the eggs or chicks.
If you follow these simple tips birds will be attracted to your garden and will keep coming back year after year.