Looking at and counting birds, Friday–Monday, Feb 17–20, 2012

Carolina Chickadee, photo by Ken Childs

Please join in the 15th annual count!

What birds do your children notice as they arrive and leave your site? Taking a walking fieldtrip is another way to have a bird-viewing session with your students. Casual observations of birds can be the beginning of understanding that living things react to their environment. Do birds hang out in the playing field in the morning and fly away when the children come out? Are they sitting in trees on a sunny afternoon but nowhere to be seen on a rainy day? Scientists and beginning bird watchers count birds to understand where birds are.

Poster for the Great Backyard Bird CountYour students can take part in The Great Backyard Bird Count, an annual four-day event to count birds. But you don’t have to count on all four days to participate! By reporting on the website what you see in nature, you contribute to a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. The site offers regional checklists so you know what birds you are likely to see.

Read about participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count at Growing with Science, entomologist Roberta Gibson’s blog. Turns out she likes observing birds as well as insects!

Crow photo by Walter Siegmund

Many children can recognize crows.

These days my students are observing a lot of crows and imitating their calls. If we had internet access I might show them some archived video of a crow on a nest (note that this video site has advertisements). Does anyone know of a currently active webcam on crows?

Peggy

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One Comment

  1. Marie Faust Evitt
    Posted February 8, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    My preschool class participated in the bird count last year and we plan to participate again this year. The count focused the children’s attention on the different types of birds. They observed closely so they could count accurately. Recording results for an official study made them feel grown up, like real scientists.

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