It’s not like I need an excuse to go birding! And truth be told, if I am outdoors or even just have a view to the outdoors…I am always watching for birds.
I am not exactly sure when or how my passion for birds developed, but I do know the bug bit me at an early age.
I remember I was around eight years old when my curiosity about birds led me to try to catch one. I believe I patterned my cardboard box trap after the one Wile E. Coyote used in an attempt to catch The Road Runner in the cartoon of the same name. I wasn’t anymore successful than he was, but at least I didn’t fall off a cliff in the attempt!
My point with all this is that birds can be truly captivating to children.
Birds come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They have enchanting songs. And they can FLY! Birds can go anywhere they want at anytime they want. The sense of freedom and adventure that this represents to a child’s imagination is irresistible. If they could, they would be a bird, too.
So, since trying to actually catch a bird is totally illegal these days, just how does one go about getting kids to start thinking about the birds that live around them everyday?
I would suggest that this week’s Great Backyard Bird Count is the perfect activity for introducing kids to the world of birds!
The GBBC website, www.birdcount.org, makes it easy for young and beginning birders to get started. The website’s GBBC for Kids section includes a Top 10 gallery of the most likely seen birds and several clever bird-themed activities, such as a birdsong quiz, coloring sheets and on-screen jigsaw puzzles. Children can also take and send in photos of their backyard sightings as part of submitting the family’s bird tally online.
The GBBC runs from February 15 through 18 and it’s a great way to have some family fun over the long Presidents Day weekend and participation is free!
Please let us know your family’s plans for participating in this year’s GBBC.