Kids' Birdwatching Week
A birdwatching trip where you don’t have to identify birds
Kids’ Birdwatching Week (Lasten lintuviikko) is a birdwatching event for families, daycare centres, schools and other child groups. The purpose of the event is to get to know birdwatching and birds by seeking signs of their nesting. The event takes place each year in May.
All children and adults are encouraged to take a birdwatching trip together, whether a novice or a bird expert! No bird species have to be identified, and the participants are also included in a draw to win fine prizes.
Kids’ Birdwatching Week took place from 15th to 21st of May 2023. Welcome again next year!
The trip taken during Kids’ Birdwatching Week is not about identifying birds, but about observing their behaviour together. Can you find signs of nesting? The nesting of birds fascinates both children and adults, and the search for the signs of nesting can be thought of as a fun detective game, for example. We have a lot of free material to help you with the trip. The event is free of charge, without age limit and no prior registration is required.
In May, the breeding season of many birds is in full swing. The birds are easy to see and hear in all environments, so your trip can be taken anywhere – to the garden, the nearest forest, down by the river, or even just the school yard.
How to participate
- Pick a suitable date for your trip during the Kids’ Birdwatching Week (in 2023, 15th to 21st of May).
- Get acquainted with and print out any material you wish.
- Take your trip and search for the signs of nesting.
- Report your observations with our online form (open during the event) and you will participate in the prize draw!
The event is free of charge, without age limit and no prior registration is required.
Photos and drawings
Share your photos and memories on social media with the hashtag #lastenlintuviikko (or #barnensfagelvecka) or on the event’s Facebook page!
You can also send the photos and drawings to us at email@example.com or by mail to: BirdLife Finland, Kids’ Birdwatching Week, Annankatu 29 A 16, 00100 Helsinki. The submitted material may be published on the event website or elsewhere by BirdLife Finland, the Finnish Nature League and the Finnish Society for Nature and Environment.
- Event flyer for educators + Information poster for parents (pdf)
- A guide for teachers and other child group leaders (pdf)
- Observation sheet (pdf)
- Information on the signs of nesting (pdf)
- Diploma (pdf)
- Getting outdoors with children (see down the linked page)
- Coloring sheets (see header “Värityskuvia”)
- More bird-themed materials and information in Finnish and Swedish
What signs of nesting should you look for?
It does not matter if you cannot find a single nest. Many kinds of signs of nesting can be found even if you are nowhere near a nest:
- A bird sings.
- A bird gathers or carries nest material (e.g. twigs, grass, moss)
- A bird builds a nest.
- A bird often goes to a possible nest site (e.g. under the eaves of a house).
- A bird incubates (sits still) on its nest.
- A bird carries food (e.g. worms).
- A bird warns or attacks towards a predator (e.g. a crow) or a person.
- Sounds of chicks from a nest or a nest box.
- Young birds that have already left their nest.
Signs of nesting can be searched for and found even if you cannot identify one bird species! For more details, see our materials.
What to do if you find a nest or young birds?
- Move further away so that the birds are not disturbed.
- Be calm and avoid making noise.
- If a parent bird starts giving warning signals and paying attention to you, move away immediately.
- When parent birds only focus on the nest/their chicks and not you, you are at the right distance.
- If a nest has nestlings, the parent birds will carry them food even every couple of minutes.
- If a nest has eggs, there might not be any birds flying near it, but if it is an open nest, you might see a parent bird incubating.
- Do not touch the nest, the eggs or the chicks.
- All bird nests are also protected by law, so you must not disturb or destroy them.
- You can use binoculars or spotting scopes to look at the birds from a distance, without disturbing them.
The prize draw
- Grand prize: A pack of five child-friendly binoculars (Asahi Pentax Papilio)
- 3 volumes of the magazine Sieppo
- 3 volumes of the magazine Nuorten Luonto
- A volume of the magazine Finlands Natur
- Nature-themed books (in Finnish and Swedish)
- 3 postcard sets
- 10 bird card games
A group is included in the prize draw if they report their observations made during Kids’ Birdwatching Week with the online form (open during the event). The winners will be notified personally.
Kids’ Birdwatching Week has been organised since 2004 (in English since 2022). Thousands of children and adults participate in it every year. The event is organised by BirdLife Finland, The Finnish Nature League (aka Luontoliitto) and The Finnish Society for Nature and Environment (FSNE, aka Natur och Miljö).