This weekend is dedicated to our garden birds - the country’s biggest survey takes place with families all over the country grabbing pens and paper to record what birds come to their gardens. Teach your children about the different birds to be seen in your garden, talk about the different colours and how to identify each type of bird.
To participate in the bird survey, simply go out into your garden or to a local park and sit for an hour (quietly!) and watch for birds. Note down what species you see and count them as you spot them. They must land in the garden or park rather than fly over.
When you have observed for an hour, and have your results, simply log your findings on the RSPB website (www.rspb.org.uk). There is a handy print out sheet on the site too to help identify the birds and, you can get a copy of last year’s results too. Why not have your little ones draw a picture of your garden or the park with the different birds they have seen too? Try making a map to show where you spotted each bird.
This event has been taking place for some thirty years. There have been results from nearly 280,000 gardens which gives experts an idea of how bird numbers are diminishing.
It is also great fun, good number practice and you'll feel part of a great effort to keep our local birds. Happy Twitching!
Birds are wonderful to watch and with a little encouragement can become part of your the family! If you don't fancy a dog or a cat as s pet, then, why not care for some wild birds instead? Children will love spotting them, naming them, watching them feed, looking at their different colours and you can even draw some together.
How to invite the birds into you garden
Fix a bird box into a hedge or tree depending on which sort of box you buy and what type of bird you wish to attract. There are some 5-6 million bird boxes in the country now and as birds' natural habitat declines they are relying more and more on our help.
They need not be expensive. There are about 200 different types of bird box on the market. Some even have hidden cameras so you can spy on the resident of your bird box. However, you can pick up traditional boxes from garden centres or you can try and build your own if you are handy! Once in place, you then have to watch the box and see who moves in!
There are all sorts of bird feeders available. If you have squirrels in your area, you may have to opt for a squirrel-proof feeder as they can be very crafty and manage to get away with all the bird feed! Many birds will come on to feeders even if situated close to you house. So if you don't have a garden, then put a couple of feeders at the window or on your balcony and you may still attract visitors!
Naming the birds
Once you are getting birds into the garden, you can start spotting them and finding out what they are called. You can go online and discover the breeds, or buy a children's spotter book or a sticker book. See how many different types of birds there are in your garden and keep a note of what you see.
Interesting facts about some common garden birds you'll see
2. Blue Tits
Out and About
Taking interest in birds is great for children. Even when you take them out and about, keep an eye of for birds you recognise and ones that are new to you! Try look at the colour of their feathers and then draw them together when you get home.
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