7 Tips to Get To Know Your Wild Birds - Part 1

Vicky magpie with visiting rainbow lorikeets  By now you will have a few friends whom you recognise and call by name. The next stage is to get o know more about your birds. 

There are seven main points that you can follow to further develop your relationship with your new wild bird friends.  These are:

1. Make Time For Regular Interaction

2. Learn More About The Species

3. Gain Insight's Into Your Individual Bird Friends

4. Listen for Cues

5. Notice Changes In their Behaviour

6. Keep a Daily Journal

7. Look for Wider Patterns and Stories

In this post we will cover the first three points.

1. Make Time For Regular Interaction:

 Make some time in your daily schedule when you can spend time with the birds.  It can be early morning or late afternoon just before dusk or anytime that suits you during the day.  Birds are early risers and if all you can give them is ten minutes while you grab your coffee, that is fine as long as you do it daily.  So they know that this time is your time with them. They will make it a habit to come and see you then. Birds are experts at observing and learning the routine of other creatures.  They will have already noticed you pottering around your house.  They will know the times you spend near various windows and doors, even if you are not an outdoors sort of person.  They may already have figured out how to draw your attention to their presence.  If they call you, make the time to go out see them. Answer them by name and speak to them calmly and they will love it. 

This is a crucial point, because if you are unable to spend any time at all with them, you will not be able to build a relationship. Quality time is the essence of all successful relationships.

2. Learn More About The Species: 

 Become knowledgeable about their species.  Learning about their species will tell you more the general patterns that are likely to occur in your birds' lives.  Questions like: When do they mate? When do they start building their nests? What do their nests look like? When will their chicks hatch? When do they fledge?  What do the juvis eat? When do the young adults leave home?  Yes, all the little darlings will leave home and all our tears won;t stop them from leading their full bird life.  Who are their enemies? Who are their allies? What kind of lifestyle do they lead? 

Knowing the answers to these questions, gives you a head start in understanding their priorities, seasonal changes and their life cycle. When you see the birds behaving differently you are then better able to understand what events might be occurring in their lives and in the lives of their friends.

 There may be book available in the library or local book shops.  These days there is much information on the web on most species. Many people also share their stories and experiences which add a lot of useful information about the birds lives than the just the technical data in fact sheets and field guides. 

You will find that for some species there are a lot of books available, whereas there may be little known about your birds. That is what happened with us when we first got interested in magpies. Ten years ago there was very little information about them. Your observations will become very important as you gain more insights into their lives.

3. Gain Insight's Into Your Individual Bird Friends:

Once you know the general life patterns for the species, you will be better able to notice your friends individual preferences when they are dealing with similar situations.  the more you talk to them, the more they will show you about themselves.  Birds use a 'show and tell' method of communication and they are extremely good at this, far better than us humans.  Our language has become so good, that we have lost a lot of our natural ability to understand  'action' as a means of communication. So look for the meaning behind their sound and action. What are that trying to show you and what are they trying to convey to you? They will start introducing their friends and more members of their family? They will want to share things that are happening in their life and we have to learn how to receiving that information and interpret it meaningfully.  (I will cover this in more detail in a later post.) 

You may like to check out some of the stories and slideshows in the 'Not Just A Bird...' and 'Feathery Tales' Galleries to get ideas of the different kind of actions, interactions and communication that the birds do.

Tomorrow we will cover the remaining four points.

Subscribers to my Wild Bird Talking Ezine get a bonus report 'Five Keys to Wild Bird Friendship' - if you would like a copy, please enter your name and email in the box on the top left hand column.

In tomorrow's post we will go deeper into talking to the birds.

To read the earlier articles in this blog challenge click here.

Until tomorrow,




Share this


Tell me have you several bird journals? Have you published them? Are you using them to create more posts on your blog?
This is such a genius concept on bird watching. Thanks

I started to keep journals on the daily activities of my birds around June 2002.  Since then I've been recording their info regularly.  And we have thousands of photographs.  I am writing a book based on the info.  My blog posts are a combination of my memories, what I do and what I have learned.

Glad to hear you are enjoying them.