The Ultimate Guide for Learning about Backyard Birds

It's officially springtime!  The snow has melted, the birds are singing, and the woodpecker has visited for his annual rapping on our house.  There are even candy eggs in the grocery store!  It's a great time to study birds, nests, and eggs!  I called on my friends at the Kid Blogger Network for ideas and put together this giant round up of backyard bird resources for traditional classrooms and homeschoolers.  As always, I hope you find it helpful for putting together your own bird study this spring.

I think a good place to start your study is with basket or bag of birding supplies, either near a window of your house or near the backdoor for taking with you.  In the bag, I would put a good pair of binoculars (such as the ones in the grid below), a sketching notebooks, and some pencils, colored pencils, or water colors for recording your findings.  I also recommend the backyard bird flashcards or a guide book of your local wildlife.

Books about Nests

Many of these bird activities involve invitations to observe and build nests.  It would be a good idea to have some books about nests available for inspiration.  The Birds, Nests, and Eggs book looks especially helpful (the author also has many similar ones with different nature themes).

Chicken Life Cycle

Our homeschool co-op class just hatched chicken eggs, so my kids are ALL about chickens right now!  They have been fascinated with the ways that the birds grow in their shells.  The co-op teacher had the Chick Eggs set for the class to explore, while we brought the life cycle book to share.  Be sure to grab the Montessori-inspired Chicken Life Cycle 3-Part cards on my blog which match the Safari Ltd life cycle set.

Bird Watching Books

Whether you're observing birds at your feeder at home or watching them from a hide in a sanctuary, these field guides would be very helpful for identifying different species.  Be sure to grab the right one for our region or get extras for places you visit (for example, we have one for Botswana).

Backyard Birds

One way to make backyard birding and the science lesson more interesting for kids is with toys!  Here are some suggestions.  I especially like the plush birds with authentic sounds- it would be neat to have a whole collection of them.

Bird Feeders

A great way to attract birds to your yard is with some bird feeders.  Different birds prefer a variety of food types or feeder styles.  Be sure to get the right combination for the kinds of birds you're hoping to attract.  A few nesting boxes would be a good idea as well.

Candy Eggs

This is a great time of the year when candy eggs are in every grocery store.  I'm stocking up on them for chocolate nests, math lessons, and our future dinosaur road trip.  Whether you prefer chocolate eggs or jelly bean ones, this is the time to buy them.

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