About this tutorial
Hello! Welcome to another Nature Nook tutorial. Today, we are going to meet 10 spring birds you are likely to spot out and about in your garden and on your nature walks. Are you ready? Let’s get started!
10 spring birds to look out for this month
Spring is an amazing time of year for bird spotting – both to see and to hear them. Stand still for just a while and you are sure to notice at least a handful fluttering, flying and singing around you. So, who are my favorite 10 spring birds? In no particular order, they are blackbirds, starlings, robins, chiffchaffs, wrens, thrushes, swallows, swifts, nightingales and cuckoos.
How to identify our spring birds
While some birds, like the robin are readily known by many people, sometimes, can it be difficult identifying some of our less distinctive birds. So, here’s a quick guide to help you identify them.
How to identify a blackbird
Blackbirds are one of our most common birds and pretty easy to identify. They are a bright, alert kind of bird, with sleek, shiny black feathers and a bright orange beak. They also have a habit of darting through the undergrowth with their heads ducked down.
How to identify a starling
Starlings are also a black-ish coloured bird. But, unlike the blackbird, their plumage is covered in light brown flecks and dots – and it flashes beautiful green and purple colours in bright light. Also in contrast to blackbirds, starlings have yellow beaks and orangey-coloured legs.
How to identify a robin
Need I describe a robin, as even the youngest child can identify this bird! But, when not decorating Christmas cards, the robin is a bright, inquisitive little bird with a curious habit. They will often flit down onto low branches or walls right at your face level to see what you are up to!
How to identify a chiffchaff
Chiffchaffs are birds, which, you will probably hear long before you spot them, due to their distinctive chiff-chaff song. They are a nondescript sort of bird, with soft, mousey coloured tummies and darker, grey-ish brown wings. Their one identifying features (other than their song), is a yellowish streak running just above their eyes.
How to identify a wren
Wrens… I love wrens! They are one of our smallest birds and a common hedgerow resident. You may be lucky to spot them, as they flit through the densest parts of the hedgerow. But, when they do come out for air, they are easily recognised by the black bars on their reddish-brown wings, and the characteristic upright position of their stubby little tails!
How to identify a thrush
Thrushes are bold birds who will hold their ground as long as possible, watching you sideways if you pass one on the grass. They are easily identified by the zebra-like stripes on their throats and tummies. If you find a curious pile of broken snail shells in the vicinity of stones or rocks, you might well have a thrush around – snails are its favorite dinner!
How to identify a swallow
I don’t know why, but the tseeee of the swallows in the spring always makes me happy. Perhaps, it tells me, that spring is now well under way – and summer on its way. Swallows and swifts are often easily confused, as both fly high up and very fast. But, swallows can be distinguished in flight by their tails – they have long, thin points at either side of their wedge-shaped tails.
How to identify a swift
Swifts often arrive a little later in the year than swallows. But as mentioned above, can be easily confused with them. However, you can see that the tails of a swift in flight, lack the distinctive trails of the swallow. Another distinctive feature, is their colour. Swifts have pale throats, while swallows have pale tummies.
How to identify a nightingale
Many people say the nightingale has the sweetest, most beautiful song of all our birds. Though, I am torn between the sweet notes of the nightingale and the melodies of the blackbird. Like chiffchaffs, you are more likely to hear nightingales before you see them. If you are lucky enough to spot one, it looks much like a reddish-brown blackbird.
How to identify a cuckoo
Like chiffchaffs and nightingales, cuckoos are a bird you are more likely to hear than to see in person. Although, I must confess, I have never actually heard a cuckoo myself in the UK, but we had quite a few round a nearby lake when we lived in Copenhagen. They are a largish, steel-blue-grey coloured bird, with yellow-rimmed eyes and horizontal zebra stripes across its pale tummy.
Well, there we go… 10 spring birds to look and listen out for! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you did, or have any other feedback or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below – and to share this post with anyone else who might enjoy it.
Take care and happy nature walking,