2.13.2013

Family Bird Watching & The Great Backyard Bird Count

The birds have taken over my backyard in the last week, and they're fascinating to observe. So much so, I've moved my laptop out to the back porch, where I can write and watch at the same time (though admittedly, I'm a bit distracted)!
I've been keeping a nature journal along with my winter A Sense of Place e-Course participants, and so I'm recording what flies through. Sunday was a big day, with the following spotted or heard:
  • a white egret and a great blue heron down by the lake
  • male & female blue jays at the bird feeder, around the garden pond and in the strawberry plants
  • 2 red-bellied woodpeckers in the cypress tree
  • 4 wood ducks swimming in the lake
  • male & female cardinals in the bamboo and cypress tree
  • mockingbirds singing heartily
  • a nearby rooster crowing incessantly
We also have hawks and osprey circling above the lake, and recently, I heard, and then saw two, pileated woodpeckers in a neighbor's oak tree. Just now, while typing this (from my back porch perch) an anhinga swooped down and landed in the water, and it sounds like I'm sitting in the middle of a bird sanctuary! Really, how's a girl to work?
The whole family is enchanted by the birds... my oldest started a bird club at school a couple weeks ago, and I was probably a little too proud when she came home and told me she'd spotted a kingfisher on campus (oh yeah, my girl identified a kingfisher all by herself!). Over the weekend, my youngest followed suit, creating a "bird club" of her own. We spent some time drawing birds, writing facts we know about birds, and listening to different bird songs in The Backyard Birdsong Guide, which has a digital audio module with over 130 bird sounds.

It's a Great Time to Start Bird Watching!

Attracting birds to your yard is an excellent way to get kids excited about and involved in nature. If you haven't one already, consider adding a bird feeder to your landscape. Position it in an area you can view easily from a porch or window. Then, give your littles a notepad and pencil to record what flies in.
 
This weekend is the Great Backyard Bird Count (Feb. 15-18), an annual event that anyone, anywhere in the world can participate in. You simply tally the number of individual birds of each species you see during the 4-day timeframe and enter your numbers on the GBBC website. An easy, free, and fun way to engage bird enthusiasts of all ages! Check out the GBBC kid's page for some games and activities that help kids learn more about their feathered friends.
 
I'd love to know what birds you're spotting in your neck of the woods... head over to the A Natural Nester facebook page and share your sightings!

3 comments:

Laura said...

THANK YOU for reminding me of this! I missed it last weekend and was so bummed. The boys and I will definitely be looking to the sky this weekend!

kollene carlsson said...

yay! what a fun idea! how sweet of your girls too to start a bird club! I love it!

arianne said...

I found you over at rhythm of the home today. My sister is about to move to Florida from Oregon. I'll have to forward it to her. Lovely blog! Hugs!

Arianne
www.stillparenting.blogpsot.com