Spring is in the air. The robins have begun chirping in the tree outside my window and the daffodils have begun to sprout! Now is the perfect time to shake out those winter blues and get outside! What better way to do that than with a little learning and fun combined? You can do that with a Bird Nature Study!
As we ebb into spring, the kids and I are often anxious to get outside with each and every decent weather day. Almost every year we have taken this time to put aside our regularly scheduled school work and get outside and do some nature studies. Spring is a time when many birds are mating and nesting, which means it is a great time for a Bird Nature Study!
Bird Nature Study
Getting started with a bird nature study may seem difficult, but with just a few simple items you can be up and out in no time!
Nature Study – Packing List
- Paper or notebook – We often bring paper and a clipboard outside to make drawings or jot down notes. Then, later on at home, we transfer these drawings and notes into our nature notebooks.
- Pencils and colored pencils – Colored pencils are easier to work with than markers or crayons when it comes to fine details. Good quality colored pencils are important! We love Prismacolor pencils. We try to watch for sales, but they are definitely worth the money!
- Nature field guides – Field guides such as The Handbook of Nature Study (This is a free downloadable version. You can find the print version on Amazon.) are great for putting on your phone or iPad to take outside with you. We like to have this as well as a book on birds that are native to our area.
- Binoculars – If you don’t have any handy that is fine too, but when gazing up in the sky, trees, and across fields, binoculars can often be helpful to get a better look at the birds.
- Camera – Sometimes it is nice to have a camera to take photos of the birds and their surroundings. You can either print these and use them in your nature notebooks, or you may use them to draw from at home. (It’s not necessary to print the photos in order to draw from them. Just download them onto your computer to make them larger and easier to view details!)
- Bird App – If you have a portable device like an iPhone or iPad, I highly recommend one of the iBird Apps or Audubon Bird App. For features like search capability, high quality photos, a host of facts, and even audio of the bird calls and sounds, a resource like this is a big bonus for a bird nature study.
Bird Nature Study Activity Ideas
Nature Notebook – Your kids can create a Nature Notebook or Journal using any sort of paper medium. Use a lined paper spiral notebook, a blank art paper sketch book, plain printer paper, or card stock. Make a creative binding when you are done. In any case, photos, drawings, observations, facts, and art can all be kept and presented in their own nature notebooks.
Build A Birdhouse or Feeder – Throughout the years we have built various bird houses and feeders for our yard. Using scrap wood, we created a bird condo to put atop one of our fence poles. We have also purchased kits and created small birdhouses and feeders to hang in the yard on flower hangers or trees. Along with this, we research what types of birds we can attract and what we need to attract them.
Read All About Birds – There are lots of great books and field guides about birds. From picture books to fact books, you can head to your local library and bring home a stack of books to explore. Then take them outside under a tree or to the park!
More Bird Nature Study Activities
- All About Bird Anatomy from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- Robins – Outdoor Hour Nature Challenge
- Bluebird Nature Walk – Facts & Nesting Boxes
- John James Audubon – Nature Notebooking and Bird Study
So I encourage you to get up and get out! I promise you will create awesome memories with your children while getting fresh air and learning along the way!