Birds to Look for in January and February

January and February may not be months where we fancy going outdoors but if you wrap up in cosy clothing like these irish sweaters women and men can wear you may be surprised at how many birds you see.

This is a time for many birds to begin preparing for the spring, including these…

Greater Spotted Woodpecker – The sound of the woodpecker is one of the early signs of the spring. Whilst the trees are not in leaf it is a good time to spot them – black and white with a bright red underside that you might catch when they are in flight.

Barn owl – Silent and white, these birds often have a ghostly air about them as they glide over the open farmland that provides them with their food. Go out at dusk and have a look a few metres above the ground to see if you can spot a barn owl hunting for voles. Be aware that they tend to favour dry weather as their flight feathers need to remain dry so they can hunt in silence.

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Nuthatch – These distinctive little birds have a unique way of feeding – they push nuts into the bark of a tree then use their hard bills to crack them open- so you might well hear them before you see them!

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Rooks – These large corvids are among the earliest to get going when it comes to breeding season, and high in the tall branches of the ash and oak trees you may be able to see their Rookeries. Come February, there is already a lot going on and they are building their nests with their life partners, ready to raise their young.

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