Enjoy the National Bird Watch Survey from December to February and see what you can find in your garden. Sharing our garden spaces with wildlife is not only such a treat but also essential to maintain habitat and ecosystems. Encouraging birds into our gardens helps with biodiversity and species evolution. This survey helps to keep track of Ireland’s much-loved garden birds in gardens across the country. Let us explain:
- How to take part
- What birds might I see
- Plants to attract birds to the garden
How to take part
Garden birds are usually easy to spot and can be seen around bird feeders, bird tables and in amongst shrubs and trees. Plus you can spot them from the comfort of your own home. It is easy to take part in the National Bird Watch Survey all you need to do is record the highest number of each bird species that visit your garden every week. Before you begin, its a good idea to register the size of your garden and also the types of food available to see which attract different species. Your sightings can be recorded online via www.birdwatchireland.ie or download the Garden Bird Survey Form from the website and submit when completed.
What birds might I see
There are many common and beautiful garden birds to see, many will depend on your location and food sources available to them. You may spot Blackbirds, Chaffinches, Dunnocks, Greenfinches or a Goldfinch. It's always a pleasure to see a Collared Dove as well. Its great fun finding them in the garden and completing the survey. You’ll get a great sense of satisfaction and you may even be surprised at what you find.
Plants to attract birds to the garden
It’s great to supplement food for garden birds and can be essential to some throughout the winter months but planting with birds in mind is the best way to attract and help bird species. From trees to shrubs and plants with seedheads, there is a lot you can do. Try growing Ivy up an old fence, not only will it look nice but it is a haven for insects which birds feed on. They can also nest in thick Ivy and eat the berries over Winter. Other plants with berries include Pyracantha and Holly. Over the winter months, consider not cutting back your perennials and allowing them to produce attractive and essential seedheads for birds. If you take part in the National Bird Watch Survey it can really help to understand your garden birds.