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Common Bird Behaviours 

Common Bird Behaviours 

If you want to truly enjoy bird watching then you need to know a little bit about bird behaviour. When you can recognise certain behaviours you can fully appreciate bird watching and begin to understand more about the wild birds that thrive in your garden. Here are some common bird behaviours to look out for.



If you have in your garden they will attract all sort of different birds. You can watch them feeding and enjoying the you have provided for them. Birds will also forage around your garden looking for other such as big juicy worms. When food is scarce, particularly during the colder months it is interesting to watch birds find ways of getting enough food.

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Bird nesting usually takes place from March through to July, but the timing depends on the species of bird. Watch birds gathering different nesting material around your garden and taking it back to their nest. They will collect things like twigs, wool, grass and moss to help make their nest as cosy as possible. There are laws to help protect birds’ nests such as farmers not being allowed to cut down hedges during nesting season. Wild birds and their eggs are protected by the law, specifically the The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.


Expect to be woken up by a different type of alarm from March to July. Over the spring and summer birds are far more vocal because this is when they are searching for a mate and need to defend their territory. The first to begin singing are tits and robins, followed by a wide range of different garden birds.

Wake up to beautiful melodies and a garden full of singing birds. If you listen really carefully you will probably hear the first birds singing a few notes at sunrise. Other birds such as Blue Tits like to sing at dusk rather than early in the morning.

Female birds will choose their mate based on the quality of their song. Male birds use up all their energy singing their heart out and it is the stronger, fitter males that are capable of the best melodies. Therefore they are likely to be a good choice to bring up a females young.

Territorial behaviour

Birds compete to obtain the very best territory for feeding and bringing up their young. You may observe a few territory battles if you watch wild birds in your garden regularly. Different species have different sizes of territory and show varying levels of aggression. Surprisingly, Robins have a reputation for being fiercely territorial and will go to great lengths to defend their territory.


Look out for bird courtship behaviours which are used to signify a bird’s willingness to find a mate. Male birds will also display courtship behaviours to impress females and outdo potential rivals. Different species of birds have different courtship behaviours but some of the behaviours include singing, flying, dancing and bring food.

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Preening and cleaning

You will definitely catch a glimpse of birds preening and cleaning themselves in your garden. Especially if you have a nice refreshing bird bath for them. Birds need to keep their feather clean and in top condition for flying and also to keep them warm. The also preen themselves to help get rid of parasites. Birds can spend quite a lot of time cleaning themselves and it can be fascinating to watch.

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