Teaching Kids About Birds
Kids are naturally curious and love to learn. Birds hold a special fascination -- they can FLY!
Parents and teachers can help children learn about birds simply by answering their questions. How do birds fly? What is the smallest bird? Why are Robin's eggs blue?
The other thing parents and teachers can do is to encourage kids to stop, look and listen. Birds sing, they protect their territory, they attract mates, they hunt for food. This behavior is fascinating to watch. Make sure the children in your life notice these things.
Try these projects together:
Build a bird feeder -- see what comes to eat
Build a bird house
Find ten different birds in your area
Make an owl out of a pine cone
Look for bird's nests in your yard
Do a report about your favorite bird
Find twenty bird photos on the Internet
Try to find out how many birds there are
Figure out what a bird eats by looking at the shape of its bill
Older children can be introduced to the concepts of conservation, ecology and habitat preservation.
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute has an excellent web site for teachers and kids interested in nature.
If you are a Scoutmaster, introduce the troop to birding on your hikes and campouts. Help them with the Bird Study merit badge. Thayer's Birds of North America CD-ROM is very helpful with this. The Birds of My State CD-ROM lets you seleect the birds from any state, province or region.
The American Birding Association sponsors a competition for Teen birders each year. There are also summer birding camps for teens only.