Bird Behaviour

Head to your local park, nature reserve, or a tree-lined street to discover the behaviour of different bird species in your neighbourhood


Become an amateur ornithologist and learn about different bird behaviour and what it means.

Head to an outdoor space where different bird species can be observed. It could be your garden or a local park. You could hang bird feeders in trees/bushes to attract more birds.

Look for at the birds and see if you can identify what they are doing.  Do some research to see if you can identify which birds you are looking at – if you are in the UK you could check out the RSPB Identify a Bird tool.

These are some of the things that you might see birds doing:

  • Hiding: using camouflage or cover to protect themselves from predators.
  • Flocking: creating large groups to fly or feed, creating safety in numbers.
  • Bathing: washing in water, or sometimes, giving themselves a dirt bath.
  • Flying: using their wings or air currents to travel through the air.
  • Preening: cleaning their feathers using their beak or feet.
  • Singing: communicating using calls and songs.
  • Giving an alarm call: hard to distinguish from a song, but usually shorter and simpler than songs.
  • Foraging: searching for food on the ground, in bark, in water, etc. Food could include seeds, fruits, fish, even small mammals and reptiles.
  • Feeding: actually eating the food they find

Reflect on what birds and behaviours you saw:

  • What behaviour was most common?
  • Was there any behaviour that surprised you?
  • Did you observe any behavior that didn’t fit into one of the categories suggested?
  • Are there differences in how different species do the same behaviour (e.g. blue tits take seeds from feeders, dunnocks pick up food that has fallen to the ground)?


Try this activity at different times of the year and see how birds’ behaviour is different.

Take it Further

If you enjoyed this activity, why don’t you try making a bird feeder?  You also might enjoy our Nature Survey activity.


This is a weekly challenge activity. Why not share a photo of what you achieve on social media using the hashtag #DreamBigAtHome?

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