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Developing a Nature Lover: Going on a Bird Walk

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Developing a Nature Lover: Going on a Bird Walk

Debra Jacobs

For children to grow up into environmentalists, they need many experiences in nature. Birding offers an easy way to get your child outside and to spark a love of the natural world.

Does your child wake you up early in the morning? Great! Get out of the house at sunrise and find your best local birding spot. You can find birds anywhere - near a pond or lake, in the woods, at a field, or in the city at a local green space.

Ask your child how many different birds you think you’ll see. Describe each one: “Wow, that one has a long neck! Look at the white stripe on that one’s wings!”

You can also ask your child to think like a scientist: Why is the bird calling like that? What do you think it’s saying? What is it doing and why?

If you want, you can try to identify each one. If you have limited ornithological knowledge, use a free app on your phone, such as Merlin Bird ID or Birdsnap.

Let your child use your phone to take photos of the birds you see. If she’s excited about birding, print out the pictures, have her draw and label each bird, and begin to create a bird book.

In my preschool, we did an extended curriculum on birds. If you’re a teacher and would like my list of bird-related activities, let me know and I’ll be happy to share.

You may be surprised at how much your child will enjoy this!

Photo by daniyal ghanavati