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Birds are wonderful to watch and with a little encouragement can become part of your the family! If you don't fancy a dog or a cat as s pet, then, why not care for some wild birds instead? Children will love spotting them, naming them, watching them feed, looking at their different colours and you can even draw some together.
How to invite the birds into you garden
Fix a bird box into a hedge or tree depending on which sort of box you buy and what type of bird you wish to attract. There are some 5-6 million bird boxes in the country now and as birds' natural habitat declines they are relying more and more on our help.
They need not be expensive. There are about 200 different types of bird box on the market. Some even have hidden cameras so you can spy on the resident of your bird box. However, you can pick up traditional boxes from garden centres or you can try and build your own if you are handy! Once in place, you then have to watch the box and see who moves in!
There are all sorts of bird feeders available. If you have squirrels in your area, you may have to opt for a squirrel-proof feeder as they can be very crafty and manage to get away with all the bird feed! Many birds will come on to feeders even if situated close to you house. So if you don't have a garden, then put a couple of feeders at the window or on your balcony and you may still attract visitors!
Naming the birds
Once you are getting birds into the garden, you can start spotting them and finding out what they are called. You can go online and discover the breeds, or buy a children's spotter book or a sticker book. See how many different types of birds there are in your garden and keep a note of what you see.
Interesting facts about some common garden birds you'll see
- Male are black and female are brown
- Blackbirds eat worms from the lawn and scratch around in leaf debris for insects
- They have a lovely tuneful song
2. Blue Tits
- Blue tits eat caterpillars, nuts and seeds
- They nest in trees and bird boxes
- They usually stay up in the trees rather than down on the ground
- Male and female both have red breasts, young are all brown
- They are normally found alone rather than with other robins
- They love to sing
- They eat worms, seeds and insects
- Brown, black and white feathers, if they have a black bib, they are male
- They live near humans and eat seeds and scraps
- They are less common now than they used to be
Out and About
Taking interest in birds is great for children. Even when you take them out and about, keep an eye of for birds you recognise and ones that are new to you! Try look at the colour of their feathers and then draw them together when you get home.