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Build a bird hide for bird watching

Build a bird hide - image of a young girl with binoculars

What’s the Idea?

Build a bird hide and learn about the birds in your garden. Teach your kids about birds during this lockdown period.

What’s the story

I recently watched BBC’s Planet Earth by David Attenborough and wondered how they captured such incredible footage of golden eagles in the snowy Alps.

They revealed they had built a bird hide on the side of a mountain, which was completely camouflaged in the snow.

The birds didn’t even realise they were being filmed.

I thought this would be a great idea to learn about the birds in our own garden and did some research into how to build a simple bird hide at home.

People should do this because…?

A bird hide can also make a great fort or chill out hideaway and a quiet spot for reading or a nap.

Summer is here for most of us in the northern hemisphere, and what a great time to watch and learn about the different birds that visit our gardens.

Some come from far away, like the swallow, and some have been here all along like the songful robin.

You might even be lucky enough to see more than just birds.

Now is the ideal time to spot squirrels, lizards, foxes and hedgehogs.

Learn to build a pond or a birdbath bowl too, in order to attract wildlife to your garden so you can watch from your bird hide.

How do you do it?

Build your bird hide near your bird feeder or birdbath, but not too close. Birds are very alert and will react to any little sound or movement.

Use your imagination to create your bird hide.

You could use a small tent as long as you can camouflage it.

If you need to build your hide from scratch make sure you have some poles and ropes or twine plus some leaves and foliage to cover it up.

The easiest structure is a simple A-frame.

Step 1: Cut 4 poles to the same length – about 2 metres.

Step 2: Bind two sets of poles together at one end using a lashing knot to create an upside-down V. Separate them about 2 meters apart. These are the legs.

Step 3: Place a longer pole or stick across the join of each set of poles to create your basic bird hide A-frame. You can use some guy lines to secure the structure in place.

Step 4: String some rows of twine or wire from one side to the other so that you can lay some branches or shade cloth across to camouflage the hide. Palm fronds work really well. Don’t forget to keep a small window open for you to look out.

Once you’ve built your bird hide its time to grab your binoculars, a comfy cushion and your bird book.

There are also loads of bird watching apps you can download.

Remember to be patient and make no sudden moves or sounds when the birds arrive.

Keep a record of the birds that arrive.

Look them up in your bird book or on your bird app to find out more about them.

You’ll be fascinated by some of the stories behind these birds.

Stuff you may need

  • 5 wooden poles roughly the same length
  • Some rope or twine to bind the poles
  • Branches and leaves for camouflage

You can pick up most of these things from your local builders or garden centre.

Links to other stuffer pages

Build a pond to attract wildlife to your garden

Build a Birdbath Bowl

Make a bird feeder using everyday household items

Attract hedgehogs into your garden

Links to other articles on the web

Build a Bird Hide

Links to other videos on the web

Links to apps

Links to books

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