Introduce a study on birds into your homeschool to explore concepts in science, art, conservation, and more. Winter birding is an excellent way to get the family outside on these colder winter days. Bare trees, shorter days with later sunrises, and a limited number of native winter birds will help young and beginning birdwatchers ease into the hobby. Back inside, explore the science of flight and engage in bird unit studies with coloring pages, books, videos, research resources, and more.
Feathered Friends for Your Homeschool
The National Audubon Society has resources that can help take your family outside “birding.” These resources on this page range from recipes for bird feed and feeders, ideas for making your yard bird friendly, as well as suggestions for vegetation to include in your landscape to encourage visits from your feathered neighbors.
A timely feature on the National Audubon Society website, this article offers tips for winterizing your yard for birds.
You can search Audubon’s Native Plant Database to identify native plants to include in your landscape which will draw birds in your area to your yard. Why not make it a family project?
You can start a family hobby of birding with this beginners’ guide to birding.
This National Audubon Society lists parks and wildlife refuges in the Old Dominion that are great for birding excursions.
Bird Watcher’s Digest explores a list of birds you can see during Virginia winters.
One of the most recognizable winter birds is our state bird, the northern cardinal. Check out the history of its adoption as the Virginia state bird, bird facts, and more.
How Birds Fly
Most people find hummingbirds unique and intriguing. How do hummingbirds do that? How do they hover like they do? This Audubon article on hummingbirds and the necessary brain power they possess to move the way they do could be a starting place for a research paper.
Learn the anatomy and purpose of the different types of feathers on both flying and flightless birds.
Check out this mini lesson plan on how birds fly on Little Lives. The blog post includes several activities and experiments to engage younger students.
Unit Studies for Homeschool Birdwatchers
This bird unit study from Mosswood Connections includes instructions for a fun craft, research resources, videos, and more.
First School has lesson plans that incorporate printable crafts, activities, coloring pages, and related early childhood resources on birds.
You can use the free printable notebooking page and the resources at Joy in the Home to create a study of birds.
Your child will love making edible bird nests with your help and these instructions.
Coloring pages are a great way to incorporate art and color into your studies, practice and reinforce bird identification, and occupy younger students during a reading time or while you help older students write or research.
Your students can use the animal database at the National Zoo to learn more about the birds in the park. Simply select birds in the “animal type” pull-down menu (leaving the “search animals” box empty) and click apply. A list of birds found at the Zoo will be displayed. You can click on each type of bird to view details about that bird.
You can follow five steps to do this John James Audubon Nature Notebooking and Bird Study. This page has suggestions for adapting the study to your family’s needs, as well as links to other bird unit study resources.
Check out the following books on birds and birding, including storybooks and non-fiction for young children, field guides, and more:
Tanglebird by Bernard Lodge
The Birdwatchers by Simon James
George Flies South by Simon James
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Song for the Whooping Crane by Eileen Spinelli
For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson by Peggy Thomas
Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton W. Burgess
About Birds: A Guide for Children by Cathryn Sill
Last Egret: The Adventures of Charlie Pierce by Harvey O. Oyer
Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America by Roger Tory Peterson