While my family has been home during COVID we have taken more interest in the outdoors. We have been trying to get outside more and encourage the kids to take a look around and pay more attention to what we (literally) have in our own back yard. One of the things that we discovered was bird watching. We started with one window birdfeeder and we’re up to three now. The bird feeders are clear and suction cup to the window. The birds fly right up into the feeder and we can watch them eat from inside. We enjoy looking up the birds that we see dining – so far we have seen a pair of Cardinals, a woodpecker, a titmouse, a sparrow, mourning doves, chickadee and what we think might be a Brown Thrasher. The Prince William Conservation Alliance has a list of commonly found birds to help you get started.
We have had a lot of fun together as a family watching and learning about birds. It’s a fun way to get outside, get fresh air and learn something new. It’s a great reason to head to your local park or take a walk around the neighborhood. You can even make it into a competition or scavenger hunt to keep the kids engaged.
We have also discovered that there are a lot of other birdwatchers out there. Bird lovers have come together for “The Great Backyard Bird Count” which takes place each year near Valentine’s Day. This year it takes place February 12-15 and anyone is invited to participate.
Here’s how to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count.
- Sign up online at Birdcount.org
- Optional: Download the Audubon App. This app will help you determine which birds you have spotted so that you can count them.
- Head outside for at least 15 minutes and look for birds! You can use the app to record what you find or write it down. If you’re new to bird watching, you might want to practice identifying birds ahead of your count or take a lot of photos to refer back to when you submit your count.
- After the count, log back on to the website to see what other people counted and reported in their areas.
Happy Bird Watching!
CRAFT - DIY Birdfeeders: