Tips for the Great Backyard Bird Count with Kids | Still Playing School

Tips for the Great Backyard Bird Count with Kids

Has cabin fever struck your family this winter? Birdwatching is satisfying all year long but an event that might just give you (and your kids) the extra motivation you need to jump in this month is the Great Backyard Bird Count. We're sharing all the details as well as tips, tricks, and resources to use when birding with kids!

Tips, tricks, and resources for participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count with kids!

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Our family was inspired by this set of kid friendly birdwatching resources from Downtown Bookworks. I'll show you how we plan to use them for the GBBC in just a bit. We're super excited that Bird-acious includes an owl pellet to dissect and we will be packing the beach guide for our next family vacation to the shore.
The books include:

Our first tip is to make the resources easily accessible and inviting for your kids. I like to use a basket to neatly display and organize the books with their covers facing forward. Most preschoolers choose books based on their cover instead of the spine so we aren't going to want these books to get overlooked on a bookshelf. The basket sits right near the window in our home from which we see the most birds.

Kid sized binoculars are a great idea to include in your basket! As you can imagine, the binoculars have already been used the most! They allow our kids to see the birds outside more clearly. Another trick I have for you is to keep your cell phone camera handy so that you can snap a picture of a bird or take a video of its song for accurate identification. 

We hung the poster right above the basket. We love to play I Spy using the pictures as we're waiting for our actual birds to arrive. It's also handy for comparing the birds' features we've been learning about such as crests, beaks, and unique color patterns of feathers. 

The Great Backyard Bird Count occurs every February! Here is how you can join us in participating in this event. On this year's dates, you just need to tally the types and numbers of birds you see in your backyard or anywhere you may be traveling. You can record data for only one day or all four. You can watch throughout the day or commit to the minimum 15 minutes. 

We've created a recording sheet for you and your kids to use then you'll transfer your data to the GBBC to be totaled by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. Your family will feel great knowing that this relaxing pastime is also helping scientists collect data to answer questions about bird populations, migration, and diversity.

Get your copy of our Great Backyard Bird Count Tally Sheet here!

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Comment below to let us know if you'll be participating in the GBBC this year! What birds do you see most around your home?

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1 comment :

  1. We see a lot of robins, and we have 2 blue jays that hang out around our house, too!