Backyard Bird Watching

“If we are able to recognise that we are a valuable and potentially valued part of the whole ecological system, and that the earth can meet our needs, and us its needs, we discover a sense of deep satisfaction and belonging.” 30 Days of Rewilding. I don’t think if there is something more important to me, or at least more important to teach Small, than reciprocity with the natural world. Translating that for a toddler is hard though. I think that it’s easier to do it with lots of really small actions through the year. 

What you’ll need

  • Bird food. If you’re reducing your household waste you can bring your own reusable container to some pet shops, like Pets at Home. There’s some great ideas for reusable containers here
  • Your backyard
  • A bedroom window
  • Potentially a bird feeder but we found that some birds can be quite choosy about the type of feeder you use. After a bit of trial but mostly error we now use the floor.
  • Potentially a bird book but the internet works just as well really!



  1. Tip some bird food on to the floor
  2. Run upstairs and look out the bedroom window
  3. Watch the birds
  4. Be patient, sometimes it takes the birds a while to realise the food is there if this is the first time you do the activity. They learn fast though!


We love this! It’s so great to get the opportunity to watch the little worlds of birds. We normally get two massive wood pigeons and they are really funny together. They guard the bird food even after they’ve had enough. They sit on the fence or near by trees to watch for other birds. Occasionally a sneaky magpie or crow gets a look in but they have to be fast! There’s lots of questions we can ask about the birds, first looking up their names, and then, how much do they eat? Where do they normally live? What’s a habitat? Are they shy, or brave? And on and on. It’s a wonderful small way to give something to nature and to get such a lot of joy in return. I’m hoping if we keep trying with this through the winter we might eventually get some smaller birds too.


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