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Backyard Birding

by Megan Mora Fuentes

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, you can create a variety of homeschool unit studies to explore the science of how birds fly, birds’ life cycles, and much more.

Love Birds

Wild Birds Unlimited sponsors an annual global birding event–the Great Backyard Bird Count. This year, the event dates are February 12 through 15. Check out Birdcount.org for details on observing and logging birds in your area, as well as tips for the beginning birder, bird identification resources, and more.

Birding Basics

You can start a family hobby of birding with this beginners’ guide to birding from All About Birds. Explore some fun reasons to explore the hobby, a guide to essential tools, and more.

The National Audubon Society has resources that can help take your family outside “birding.” You can use the resources on this page–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–to create your own unique homeschool unit study.

Your students can use the animal database at the National Zoo to learn more about the birds in the park. This is a great way to expand your lessons to include birds that are not native to your area. Scroll down past “Meet the Animals” and select birds in the “type” pull-down menu (leaving the “name” 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.

Interested in taking your birding lessons further? Check out this Homeschool Living, Feathered Friends for Your Homeschool, for a variety of teaching resources, indoor activities, unit studies, storybooks and non-fiction birds and birding books for young children, field guides, and more!

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