Have you seen many little birds flutter outside the house, in your backyard? Do you want to recognize them? it is not difficult, just take one step at a time ..

Since I was a kid I love animals and especially I like a lot birdwatching. In Italy you can observe 473 species of birds but until a few years ago, I would not be able to name 10 of them!

Appreciating and learning about birds, however, is not an impossible task: we must take little steps and everything will be quite simple.

How can we then approach to birdwatching?

In my opinion the best way to start is to learn about the birds that live in our backyards and forests and that we can see every day. Let’s start from 5 birds that surely you have already seen out of the house or in the backyard, and you probably already know, but a quick review could not hurt. The photos are taken by me or by my father, novice photographers. On the internet you will surely find better images, but these ones have a special value for us!

  • Great Tit (Parus major)
    The great tit is a little bird about 15 cm long, with black head and neck, white cheeks, green upperparts and yellow underparts. The yellow chest is divided in half by a black line from the throat to the abdomen. How can we distinguish male from female? in males, this line is slightly wider. Do you want some more information? please see the wikipedia link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_tit

black white yellow green little bird garden
Great Tit in my backyard

baby great tit little bird black yellow
Great Tit, juvenile
  • Blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
    one of the smaller birds  you will ever see. Just about 10.5-12 cm long, but  highly combative. The plumage of both sexes is lively with a blue-green color on the head, on the wings and tail, the back is green, the head is white, with a black line through it near the eyes, yellow chest . Younger birds are much more yellow than the mature fones, and they have a particularly lively character. Although they are among the smallest inhabitants of our woods and backyardss, often they manage to get the better of larger birds. One way to recognize them is to observe their behavior and look at how they run their opponents. Do you want some more information? please see the wikipedia link https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanistes_caeruleus

    Blue tit yellow white bird
    Blue tit in my backyard


  • European robin (Erithacus rubecula)
    The robin is a little bird about 13-14 cm long. Gray-brown color, is absolutely unique for its red breast. According to a legend the robin had bloodied his chest trying to remove with its beak the crown of thorns that surrounded the head of Jesus Christ on the cross. It ‘easy to observe in winter when, to get food, it approaches to the backyards and houses, leaving the woods. Do you want some more information? see the wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_robin

    robin little bird red snow
    European robin bird in winter snow


  • Common blackbird (Turdus merula)
    The common blackbird is another fairly easy to recognize bird! The male blackbird is up to 25 cm long and it is completely black with an orange beak as the eye area. The female is a bit smaller than the male (20-22 cm) and she’s brown, with a lighter and pimpled throat. The beak is orange or yellow only in males, while young and females have brown beaks like the legs. The male blackbird can be confused with the common starling on which we will talk about soon. Do you want some more information? visit the Wikipedia page https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turdus_merula
male common blackbird (Turdus merula) snow
male blackbird (Turdus merula) in winter snow
female common blackbird (Turdus merula) snow
female blackbird (Turdus merula) in winter
  • Common starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
    The common starling is about 20-23 cm and is similar to the blackbird bird. It presents different plumages in summer and winter. In summer it is shiny black with purple and green hues, while in winter the black is opaque and the tips of the wings are of a clear white. The beak is different from that of the blackbird, sharper pointed, yellow in summer, brown in winter, the legs are reddish, and shorter tail than the blackbird. The only character that differentiates the sexes is a stain on the base of the beak which is blue in males, reddish in females, not easy to see. If we look at it from far away there is another way to distinguish it from the blackbird: the starling  walks briskly in the grass of the backyards, while the blackbird moves hopping. Do you want some more information? see the wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_starling

    Common starling (Sturnus vulgaris) winter blackbird
    Common starling (Sturnus vulgaris) in winter

    We have therefore learn to recognize five species of birds, and it was quite easy, but it is only a little part of the job!…there are a lot of little birds that you can find in your city! If you’re ready to learn the next 5 species, you can visit Birdwatching..in giardino! (seconda parte)!

    See you!