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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Get to know your garden birds

The start of a new school years isn't exactly the best time to start a gardening project but for one gardening related focus why not concentrate on the birds that visit your patch?

When I was teaching I was amazed that my class of 11 year olds didn't even notice the birds, that were all too easily visible almost every day of their lives, let alone be able to name any. To them the word bird and sparrow seemed synonymous.

Then one of our cleaners referred to a pied wagtail as a baby magpie and was surprised to learn that young birds were not tiny replicas of their parents.

Why not have a go at plugging this knowledge gap and maybe triggering a lifelong interest in watching the birds.

There are many bird related garden activities that you can carry out through winter. This page of my website has some ideas.

I've also put together some pages on my gardening website that includes a printable sheet of photographs to help you teach children (and adults) how to identify some of our most common garden birds. 
If you don't work in a school then try a bird related gardening project with your own children or maybe you would like to be better at identifying our common birds yourself. All the photographs are taken in my garden, I always find real photographs are much more helpful than artist's illustrations. I hope my photos help.