Earlier this week, we shared an article about How to Make Bird Feeders and Study Backyard Birds. Today, we’re adding information to help you and your children learn even more about birds! You may want to try this easy hands-on bird study as part of some educational summer fun or as part of your homeschool if you homeschool year-round. You may even want to try these ideas in the fall if you take the summer off. No matter when you decide to do it, you’ll enjoy these fun ideas for learning about birds!
Written by Erin of Nourishing My Scholar.
An Easy Hands-On Bird Study for Your Homeschool
Each year we do a hands-on bird study in anticipation of the Great Backyard Bird Count. But, you don’t have to wait until Mid-February to count birds. You can observe the birds in your backyard and neighborhood any time of the year!
Easy Hands-On Bird Study with Books
Bird books are an easy way to help your children learn about the feathered creatures outside their windows. We like to hang a couple of bird feeders within easy viewing so that we can grab one of our bird field guides to help us identify any unknown species. Other times the children pick a bird of interest and we do copywork or I dictate to them about the bird. There are oodles of books to choose from. Some of our favorites have been:
- National Audubon Society Field Guide Birds (choose your region)
- The Burgess Bird Book for Children
- Birds, Nests, and Eggs (Take-Along Guides)
- The Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs ( My daughter adores this book and is trying to learn all of the bird songs!)
- Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonder from Nature
- Sing a Song of Seasons (A Nature Poetry for Each Day of the Year)
- DK Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide
Exploring Birds with Games
We are a family of game lovers. Seriously, we only have several hundred! Did you know there are a couple of games that help enhance any bird unit study?
Our two favorite bird games are Bird BINGO and Wingspan! These two games are fun for the whole family. Wingspan is recommended for ages 10 and up, however, my eight-year-old is getting the hang of it. Both will expand your kiddos’ knowledge of ornithology.
Easy Hands-On Bird Study with Art
This year we incorporated art into our bird study with chalk pastels! It was so fun and easy! Just a simple set of chalk pastels and a pack of construction paper and we were recreating some of the birds we’d seen around our feeders and in the woods behind our house! We’ve had some robins, blue jays, northern cardinals, and woodpeckers in our front yard lately, and there’s an owl that hoots in the woods!
Easy Hands-On Bird Study with Owl Pellet Dissection
No bird study is complete without a hands-on owl pellet dissection! Every year we dissect an owl pellet and try to figure out what poor creature was made into a nourishing meal. Sometimes it is a mouse, vole, or another small mammal. Once it was a small bird! Either way, it is fascinating to discover the tiny little bones in each pellet.
Hands-On Bird Study
If my children show greater interest, then we’ll dive deeper into birds with more books, documentaries, and even visits to zoos or nature centers. We will also go on nature hikes on local trails with our binoculars and pocket microscope to try and identify even more birds than those that reside in our backyard.
Just remember, studying birds doesn’t have to be complicated. It can simply begin by looking out your window and being curious.
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Erin Vincent is a homeschooling mom to two intense kids. They are child led with a heavy emphasis on read alouds, games, art, nature hikes, and hands on science! They traded the hustle and bustle of city life for the quiet farm life where opportunities for exploration in nature abound. When they're not homeschooling you'll find Erin curled up with a cup of coffee and a good book!. You can find Erin at Nourishing My Scholar.