Great Backyard Bird Count Activities for The Whole Family!
The Great Backyard Bird Count takes place every February and helps give ornithologists the big picture on our wild bird populations. Be a part of the project by taking 15 minutes to observe the bird species in your backyard this weekend. Report your findings to help the National Audobon Society and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology do a bird population study!
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To Be A Part Of The Great Backyard Bird Count…
Anyone can be a part of the fun! Check out the information at Great Backyard Bird Count for information on how to get started. Their site explains how to participate. They have great photos from last year’s photo contest, too! You can find out about the data collected and learn about different bird species.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way for anyone to learn more about birds and help scientists get a better idea of changes in our bird populations. Get the whole family involved by including you children or grandchildren too!
How To Help Birds In Your Backyard!
Feeding birds is a great way to start helping our feathered friends! Some things to keep in mind when feeding wild birds:
- Feed high quality seed to avoid waste
- Clean feeders often with bleach water to avoid sick birds
- Place feeders away from domestic poultry pens to avoid sick poultry
- Feed year round to help nesting and overwintering birds
- Hang hummingbird and oriole feeders in summer and change nectar often
Planting For The Birds…
Plant trees, shrubs, and flowers that help feed wild birds. Here are some plants that provide food or nesting places:
- Serviceberry tree
- Mountain ash
- Rose of Sharon
- Scarlet Trumpet vine
- Cardinal flower
- Coral bells
- Bee balm
- Butterfly bush
Provide a source of water for birds year round too!
Cornell Lab of Ornithology Free Educational Resources
If you are an eductor or a homeschooler, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website is a great resource. They have K -12 lessons and activities available for different levels of comprehension.
Curriculum Units & Resources
You can download some of their curriculum units by age level for free! There are kits you may purchase, including an owl pellet kit. If you live somewhere that owls hunt, you might be able to find your own owl pellets to investigate!
They also have free videos, a free ‘Investigating Evidence’ curriculum with Teacher’s Guide, resource and journal pages, and online resources.
The Book Units that go with popular childrens book are also a great resource. Take books out of the library to read with kids, then use the units to work through age appropriate lessons.
Ebird Course and Newsletter for Educators
Another free resource for educators is the free ebird course and newsletter with units for learning and teaching ornithology. There really is a lot available on the Cornell Lab website to learn about birds!
Bird Crafts and Printables
Here are some free resources for creating crafts and fun printable images for your budding backyard bird enthusiasts!
The Graphics Fairy has vintage bird images that you may download and print out for free. (There are premium kits available for purchase, but I haven’t used those.) Create your greeting cards or a mini bird book with kids. You can also decorate your lesson plans, calendars, and crafts!
The Indianapollis Public Library website has free bird books for young children available online. They also have links to bird crafts for preschoolers and early education. And of course you can find a ton of educational bird activities on Pinterest!
Here are Some Fun Videos About Birds for Kids…
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In addition to writing for her own websites, Lisa has contributed articles to The Prepper Project and Homestead.org.
The author lives outside of Chicago with her husband, son, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a variety of poultry.