It is important for bird hides to be carefully designed, properly constructed and well-maintained. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and some hides have been poorly planned and built and, despite original good intentions, often fall into disrepair.

Sadly, many hides are also not accessible to everyone, such as people who are visually impaired, in wheelchairs, or the elderly who have difficulty walking. In order to assist potential bird hide builders with the building of bird hides, “A guide to build universally accessible bird hides” was developed and can be downloaded below.

The document of 31 pages contains information about the planning, construction and maintenance of bird hides, as well as sketches, technical drawings and more than 40 photographs to illustrate the text.

BirdLife South Africa would like to thank FirstRand Foundation and Rand Merchant Bank Fund who provided the funding for the project.

In order to promote birdwatching, BirdLife South Africa realises that facilities such as hides and boardwalks are needed. Not only do these allow people to get close to birds, thus allowing the viewing of secretive species and providing bird photography opportunities, but they ensure that the impact on the environment, for example through limiting access across sensitive wetland habitats, is minimised.

For more information on this project or if you have a bird hide plan and will allow us to publish it on this website, please contact Ernst Retief.