Bird feeders can build up with bacteria, so before you refill your bird feeder for the Big Garden Birdwatch make sure to clean it thoroughly. There are 5 common diseases which birds can contract from unclean bird feeders. It’s recommended that you aim to clean your bird feeder at least once a month or more often in periods of heavy use. To clean your bird feeder effectively, remove as much gunk as you can before rinsing, leave it to soak in a bucket of 9 parts water to 1 part bleach for about 10 minutes, before leaving it to air dry.  


Some avid bird watchers are able to identify a bird from its call, the more you listen, the more you’ll learn. I, myself, am not quite as accomplished but like to think after some practice and regular trips to the garden I’m hoping to improve ready for next year’s Big Garden Birdwatch.


Leave the binoculars until the last minute, natural movement is best observed from a distance, that way you’ll be able to spot and identify birds when you’re out and about. We have many different species at Newquay Zoo such as the white rumped shama (a personal favourite), which is a member of the thrush family. They live in our Gems of the Jungle aviary - see if you can spot one on your next visit!


Instead of rushing away to tick birds off your list take the time to observe the individual bird’s movements and colouring, if the bird is in a flock try to spot the differences between them.


When documenting your birds, try to write a ‘note to self’ about some of its behaviours, or maybe what it sounded like for instance the white crested laughing thrush was the first bird I documented for my ‘Zoo Bird Book’ and my notes were as follows:
White chest and head
Black ‘Zoro’ eye mask
Grey back of neck continuing onto back half of bird, including wings
Progressively darkening colour to tail tip
Call: half between a laugh and a song

Make sure you pick up your bird watching pack and survey from the RSPB website:

Top tips from our bird keepers:

‘Keep quiet, listen and observe I think and have good binoculars’- Emma, birds intern

‘Top tip from me would be invest in a good bird book then I.D everything you see and tick it off in your book’- Jenny, bird keeper

‘Cars make excellent bird watching hide outs, birds aren’t scared of parked cars so you can observe them without being detected’- Gary, senior bird keeper

‘Be kind to your fellow bird watcher. They’re not competition, and can often offer help with identifying breeds and good watching spots! Sharing is caring.’ Hannah, birds intern

‘Be patient.’ Layla, birds intern

Don’t forget to try our top tips on your next visit to Newquay Zoo. We have a lot of rare and endangered birds on site here so make sure you bring your book and your binoculars!

Quotes Throughly enjoyed our visit to Newquay zoo, there was plenty to see! Quotes