Did you know that there are between 9,000 and 10,000 different species of birds around the globe? With so many variations, it’s no wonder that bird watching has become such a popular hobby for all ages.
If you want to get your kids to learn more about birds and spend time outdoors, birdwatching could be a hobby for them. Continue reading to discover some of the best ways to encourage bird watching for kids at home!
Create an Environment for Birds
If you want your kids to get involved with bird watching, you will need to make sure that they have visibility to the areas where the birds go.
Birdbaths, feeding spots, and birdhouses are popular spots for birds. Make sure you spend time creating these safe spaces for birds so that they feel welcome to come into the yard. If you have dogs or other animals that go outside, avoid putting bird baths near them if the dogs will get upset.
Loud noises can scare birds aware, be sure to teach this to your children. The quieter and more peaceful they are around the birds, the more likely they are to have a close encounter!
Get the Right Food
Every bird watcher knows that if you have the right food, the birds will come.
By getting natural foods for the birds that are healthy for their diet, you can increase your encounters with them. Do your best to get natural foods that don’t have any fillers or processed ingredients. Sunflower seeds, millet, and peanuts are full of beneficial supplements for birds.
The next time you cut up apples or give your child bananas and raisins, they can also toss some out to the birds. These foods are all safe for birds to eat in moderation and can give them a balanced diet.
Bread, fats, and fruit pits can be harmful to birds. Do your best to avoid these foods and keep the birds around. Some birds will come back daily if they know nuts and seeds will be put out for them.
Set up Space for Bird Watching Inside
Birds love to go out during all types of weather but sometimes it is too early or muddy for the kids to be running outside.
On rainy days like this, it is good to have a bird-watching spot set up for the kids. By putting binoculars, bird books, and activities close to the window, your child can stay connected with nature even from indoors.
It will be a fun activity for your children to monitor how birds change throughout the year. By creating an indoor watching area, your child can discover all of the ways that birds stay dry and warm in the cold months.
Have your children watch the birds for cuddling, fluffing feathers, and shivering. These are common signs birds are cold and they may want to hide out in a birdhouse or nest.
Create Games and Activities
One of the best ways to encourage bird watching for kids is by introducing your children to games and activities.
Environmental education can be a fun experience for the entire family if you put the time and thought into it. If you find yourself looking for resources for bird watching, Nature Niche has many to choose from for all ages.
Another fun way to get your children involved with bird watching is by creating a BINGO sheet with the different types of birds in your area.
Scavenger hunts are another great way to get the kids excited about birds. If they are sick of looking up at the trees, you can send them on a scavenger hunt to find a Blue Jay’s wing that shed.
Take Care of the Yard
Birds live off of nature’s resources. By taking good care of your yard, you are encouraging birds to visit your property.
Gardening can increase bird visitors because it brings out the worms and other insects on rainy days. Cutting the grass and trimming trees can also help the birds in your area. Birds are constantly searching for twigs and other items around nature to improve their nests. The next time you trim the bushes and trees, let the birds have a chance at repurposing them!
Pesticides and chemicals are not good for birds. Fertilizers can also be harmful when they are eating food from the ground. Do your best to use natural fertilizers and keep the environment, and their homes clean.
Make Nesting Boxes
While focusing on inviting birds to your yard, you don’t want to forget nesting boxes.
Nesting boxes are stable boxes with space for birds to lay a nest in so that they can monitor and keep their eggs warm. Egg hatching spaces are crucial for birds to feel safe and stay in your area. Make sure that nesting boxes are tucked away from dangerous predators and have access to shade.
Many people place nesting boxes near a tree that provides shade for part of the day. It is also important to put these nesting boxes high off of the ground to avoid them from getting damaged or eggs are stolen.
How to Encourage Bird Watching for Kids
Bird watching for kids can be an exciting adventure whether you are inside the house, in the backyard, or out in nature.
Learning about birds will bring your child closer to the environment. They will develop an understanding of how life works cohesively. Bird watching starts with getting the right supplies and food. Once the materials are set up you can begin the fun and play games with your children while you both discover new species in your area.
Don’t forget all of the other life around the birds that your children will also get to experience and discover.
Be sure to check out our blog for more activities to try with your children and bring them closer to nature one step at a time!