Birds and birdwatching
The Galway Buzz
Birds are part of our everyday soundscape but we often take them for granted. Being required to stay at home during the Covid crisis in 2020 has provided many people with an opportunity to listen to birds in their gardens and neighbourhood, singing and calling, chattering and squabbling. Many people have found great comfort in nature during this crisis and birdsong in particular seems to have lifted many hearts.
Lots of different types of birds like to visit gardens, feeding off worms, nuts and seeds, and finding safe places to nest. Putting out bird feeders is a great way to see and learn our common garden birds such as goldfinch, great tits, blue tits, chaffinch and greenfinch.
There are many things we can do to enhance our gardens for the benefit of ourselves and our feathered friends such as planting trees, shrubs and hedgerows, especially native trees and shrubs that produce berries and nuts. Providing a small water bath for birds can be great for birds in dry weather and fun to watch. Putting out appropriate bird feed in the winter (e.g. peanuts and seed mixes) can be invaluable when food supplies are low.
Protecting existing bird habitats on our landscapes such as woodlands and native hedgerows, wetlands and waterways, is very important. Hedgerows in particular are hugely valuable habitat for birds as they provide food, cover and shelter, as well as wildlife corridors for moving through the landscape.
County Galway is home to many types of birds, some that live here all year round, some that overwinter here and others that come to breed in summer. There are many fantastic places to see and enjoy birds in the county but you can also enjoy them in your garden or on your doorstep if you stop to watch and listen.
Want to learn more? Good bird-watching spots in County Galway, seabirds, raptors, stuff for kids etc. Check out the resources for young and old below.