Top tips for birdwatching

Our nature and wildlife expert Matthew Oates gives us his top tips for birdwatching.

    Grab some binoculars

    Get yourself of pair of binoculars. It takes a while to learn to use them but they make all the difference, helping you to see birds at a distance. This is important as many birds are shy don’t like people getting close to them.

    Learn birdsong

    That sounds scary, and it does take ages, but many small songbirds are easier to hear than see – and their voices travel far and are quite distinctive. There are many CDs and websites around to help you, or try making the sounds yourself with our how to guide on birdsong. Start with garden birds, and learn the easy ones first. Leave the difficult ones 'til later.

    Ask a birder

    Four people sat on the coast birdwatching with binoculars

    There are loads of good books and websites, but the best help will come from other birders, who are always keen to help – for they were beginners once. Birders are easy to spot - just look for the binoculars, cameras and camouflage...

    Join up to learn more

    Why not join a birding society, like the RSPB or RSPB Kids?  They'll give you lots of handy hints and tips and your membership fee will go towards protecting our birdlife.

    Get outdoors and try it

    Birdwatching is one of our 50 things to do before you're 11¾ so why not sign up for the challenge and start here. There are loads more things to tick off once you've got started. Take a look at what our Kids' Councillor Mia got up to on her birdwatching adventure.