Winter Backyard Bird Watching
Winter is a wonderful time for children to observe the beauty of creation through the nature around them. With only a little effort this can occur right in your own backyard.
I usually prefer to enjoy winter’s beauty from inside my warm home. Just outside the window of my office stands a large maple tree. Each morning I am greeted by the activity of small songbirds flitting around the tree. By the time I finish my morning devotions and begin to write, I am forced to pause. I am always fascinated by the Northern Flicker clinging to the tree’s huge trunk, plunging its beak into the bark to devour insects.
My kids have become avid birders. We began learning to identify various species during winter months. With a decreased bird population due to migration, children can more easily name the quickly moving creatures.
We attract birds to our yard by placing feeders in trees and bushes. Purchasing a field guide specific for our area, we are becoming familiar with what species to watch for.
As our entire family has become fascinated with bird watching, we’ve had some competition in correctly identifying birds. I’ve needed to take pictures to solve some scientific debates.
Birds move quickly and don’t usually like human company around the feeder. With a zoom lens on my camera and quiet, slow movements, I’ve become a ninja master at getting winter pictures of our visitors. Although my stealthy moves have caused my neighbors to peer out their windows wondering what the crazy homeschooling family is up to, it’s all been worth it.
Whether going on nature walks or viewing the feeders out our windows, my children are always on the lookout for new birds. They keep track of the species they have identified in their own journals.
We made simple homemade notebooks by folding and stapling copy paper. Using photos I have taken, cutting pictures from magazines, or making their own drawings, the kids have documented the birds they have seen.
Winter backyard bird watching is a fun way to help kids recognize the beauty in nature around us. By studying and documenting observations, they are sure to appreciate the fascinating creatures God has created.
Teresa is a wife and busy homeschooling mom. With a passion for writing, she shares the adventures and lessons of her faith, family and homeschool.