We started a fun and frugal school project this week. We are studying birds this year in science, but even if you aren’t this would be a fun project to work on.
First we hung 3 different bird feeders.
Sorry, I didn’t take a picture of the last feeder (it is a hummingbird feeder).
Then the boys drew a picture of each feeder on a piece of paper.
Over the next several weeks we will watch the feeders and keep track of which birds come to each feeder. The boys can either draw a picture of the bird under the correct feeder or write the name of the bird.
This experiment has several benefits. First, the boys will be able to learn more about birds. They will identify birds as well as learn to draw them. They will also find out which birds are attracted to the different feeders. If they find a favorite bird they will know which feeder to watch closely.
If you don’t have a bird feeder you can make one with a pine cone and peanut butter. You can make another feeder with a juice bottle. These feeders are easy and cheap to make and your kids can help you. My kids love bird watching and this is a great way to make school fun.
Birdwatching is so much fun! Don’t forget to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count (in winter, and they have a website). You’ll love it. You can see statistics on how many birds of each species are found in your area (math!) and find out how many birdwatchers participated in your area. We saw a couple of “rare” black vultures two years ago. They hang out here all the time – I don’t want to know why – but apparently they aren’t commonly found in our zip code.
Another fun thing to do is to find out which birds are migratory (like juncos in my area) and figure out when they should arrive and depart. You can do some geography study tied in with observations of migratory birds.
Birdwatching is a fun way to teach toddlers their colors (red, black, gray, blue, yellow); years ago, my daycare kids could correctly identify grackles, blue jays, and cardinals, thanks to our birdwatching activities. (We laughed at the squirrels’ attempts to get the birdseed, too.) Their parents were amazed.
Most importantly, paying close attention to God’s creatures is a wonderful way to connect our children to the amazing world we’re called to enjoy and protect. No picnic will ever be the same, once you know how to identify all the birds who come to call…
Great ideas Nancy! This could really be a great year round project covering many subjects. Thanks for all your tips!
Ok, did you make the suet? We did and the birds HATED it….ba haaaaaa. Our experiment didn’t work the way we thought it would. Are doing the Apologia science? We now onto the General Science….I am really liking it.
The second bird feeder is a true feat of engineering. Where did you find such a large wire basket to hold that mattress? And what are those giant chains attached too? Did you have to rent a crane to hoist it above that house? I am not sure I would want the birds that feed on THAT thing hanging around the neighborhood.
I think I’ll do this with my son. He loves to watch birds. Last year we put a block of deer food out and the birds loved it. But, I like your idea of different kinds of feed as a project to see which they are attracted to.
Breanne Vasquez says
What a great idea.
Breanne Vasquez says
I changed my blog address and lost you for a bit. It deeted a my stuff when I did.
Somebody's Mimi says
I bought the suet and not one bird came to it! My Mom said her birds in Ohio love it, but our birds in Florida sure didn’t! My 95 year old Aunt in Ohio has lots of feeders in her backyard and watching the birds is a big part of her life. My sister also has a thing for birds… she is in Florida and in the evening she has lots of parrots come to her yard. My Mom has humming birds outside her window. Everyone has luck with the birds but me… if get black birds. Good luck with your project it does sound like fun.
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