Birdwatching

My kids find birds fascinating.  When we had that fabulously warm weather a few weeks ago, we had several visits from a little guy now known as “our woodpecker friend”.  He was quite taken (apparently) with the 2 trees in our front yard, and Daniel and I both had a great time watching him and checking out the holes he left in the tree.  Daniel likes watching birds, and while Noah does too, he really loves finding out what kind of birds they are, and what they do.

Birdwatching is such a great science activity.  There’s no mess, you can do it whenever you have time, and it takes very little equipment.  If you plan it right, you can even do it from the comfort of your home, which is especially nice in the middle of winter.

Little kids (most of them, anyway) don’t think much about tramping through the woods looking for rare birds.  Most of the time they make too much noise and scare all the birds off.  The best way to bird-watch with kids is by simply hanging a bird feeder and seeing who comes to visit.  Bird feeders are easy to find, and most stores carry them.  I recommend getting a squirrel proof model, because those hungry little buggers will steal all your seed.  But if you don’t want to buy a bird feeder, you can make one.

The easiest way is to coat a pine cone (or even a toilet paper tube!) in peanut butter and then roll it in bird seed.  You can make them with gelatin, or get really fancy and make bird seed cookies (a quick google will yield many recipes for bird seed cookies)!  Whatever method you choose, hang them on the nearest tree, and in a few days, you should have some visitors!

Once you’ve got feathered visitors, head over to Project Feeder Watch and you can print your own bird identification posters so you know who’s visiting!

Happy  birdwatching!

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