Monday, August 8, 2011

Birdwatching with Kids

This afternoon, while my little guy was napping, my daughter and I took our first foray into birdwatching. Since planting lots of natives, I've seen many more different species of birds than before and wanted to start identifying them. I also thought this would be a great thing to do with my soon-to-be-four-year-old.

We sat at our patio table, drinking cool drinks, and whispering our excitement when a bird would come to the feeder. We saw five different varieties in about 15 minutes (which was as long as I could keep her sitting and quiet). Later, we went to National Geographic's Backyard Birding Page to identify those we saw. I plan to print out the pictures so she can cut them out and paste them into her nature book, a notebook where she adds pictures, leaves, and other things that fascinate her from outside.

Many birds will never touch a birdfeeder, which is why I am trying to increase the number of native plants and shrubs on our property. I just planted a gorgeous Viburnum dentatum 'Blue Muffin', which I hope will attract different birds, like cedar waxwings.

Black-capped chickadee

Field sparrow

Mourning dove

American cardinal (the Illinois state bird)

English house sparrow (considered a pest)

More resources
Birding with Children! Tips on Getting Started
Birdwatching with Kids - Loving Nature's Garden
Bird Watching for Kids - Big Learning

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1 comment:

  1. Fun pics! All those in one sitting? How fun!