Friday, May 9, 2008

Bird Watching

Here is a photo of what we call "Fat Bird in a Little Tree" They are golden-crowned sparrows arriving with spring. The apple tree was still bare.

Birding is a great activity for kids. It is fun, educational and relatively low cost. As one of the following websites states, you can give your kids a "lifetime ticket to the theater of nature." From colors, songs, habitats, nests, feeding habits, migration, and personalities- birds have so much to offer. We love it when we get a bird surprise around town, or a new bird visitor at home. Our kids love the birds. I once overheard my daughter describe her pets as "three dogs, two cats and a whole lotta birds."

The kids helped put up our bluebird houses and they got a real kick out of looking at the used nests once nesting season was over. Lots of bird poop- LOL.

To get started you need a good bird field guide and a pair of binoculars. You can check your local library for bird watching books and field guides to see which ones work best for your family. Good binoculars can be expensive, but you can buy an inexpensive pair and do just fine. I found a few online birdwatching resources for kids and their parents:

We got into birds a few years ago. Put up some feeders, learned about the birds that frequent our yard. It is a whole new world out there when you can appreciate all the different birds. We hike in our neighborhood and see new birds regularly. We put in a small pond on our property and we get even more types of bird visitors. And when we got out of state on vacation, we are treated with new birds too.

I have a special love of bluebirds. They are in decline since finding a good nesting spot is so challenging for them. They are very beautiful bug-eating birds! Putting up a bluebird box can be a rewarding experience. Please check out the bluebird website as they have special requirements for nesting and the boxes should be monitored.
I hope you have or can find time for birds in your life.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Thanks for all the bird watching advice, Margerie. My Smart Girl has always loved birds.

Unfortunately we can't have bird feeders in our yard because they attract black bears--although I have to say that watching black bears is pretty damn exciting too, especially when they're just on the other side of the window, looking at you like you're an exhibit in the zoo.

But we do still get birds in our yard and have places we can go to to see more.