A Note To Parents: We make every effort for Roxanne's blog to be a SAFE site for children. Whenever possible, activities are in pdf format or link to safe sites for children. Please feel free to use the information in these posts for homeschool studies! All rights reserved by author and nature photographer, Virginia Parker Staat.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Backyard Bird Count

Collage from the 2013 Big Backyard Bird Count
Wow!  We had a great time counting birds during the Big Backyard Bird Count!  On Saturday afternoon, we counted 42 birds in just 15 minutes!  We had a flock of 17 Egyptian geese fly over our house and 11 Cedar waxwings roosted in a tree above us.  In addition, we had yellow American goldfinch, black and white chickadees, red cardinals, blue jays, doves, downey woodpeckers, and a robin redbreast.  It was great!

The photo collage at the top of this post shows some of the birds that we saw in our yard.  We saw birds at our feeders.  We saw birds flying overhead.  We even saw a bird taking a bath in our birdbath!

American Goldfinch taking a bath
The biggest bird that we saw was a marsh hawk soaring high overhead.  The smallest bird that we saw was a tiny hummingbird.

After we counted the birds, we entered our numbers online on the Big Backyard Bird Count website.  Our numbers will help scientists to learn about birds that come to our yard.  We try to be part of the Big Backyard Bird Count every year.

We hope that you learned a lot about birds during the Big Backyard Bird Count.  If you would like to learn more, we found some great sites for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Getting Ready for the Big Backyard Bird Count

We're getting ready for the Big Backyard Bird Count!  You can join, too!  The bird count begins on Friday and ends on Sunday (February 15-18).

It's very fun and simple to do.  You just count birds!  You can look at the birds in your backyard, out your apartment window, at the park, or someplace else you like.  For at least 15 minutes, count the kinds of birds that you see.  Then, count the number of birds in each group.

We're using today as a test.  Right now Mom and I are looking out our kitchen window.  Our feeder is full of birds.  We see three mourning doves, one Carolina wren, one downy woodpecker, two Cardinals, a Chickadee, seven American goldfinch, and eight house sparrows.  There are three gray squirrels in the yard also, but they don't count!

If today were one of the Big Backyard Bird Count days, we would go to http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/ to enter our list of birds.

We are very lucky to live on the central flyway.  Our home is a place where birds like to come in the winter.  Right now the beautiful Cedar Waxwings are migrating through our area.  Sometimes it is hard to count them.  So many fly in at the same time to eat the berries in our yard.  They also keep flying around!  If that happens, Mom takes a photo so that she can count them all!

I hope that you join us and enter the Big Backyard Bird Count, too!  Here are some tools to help you get started...

If you would like to join the Big Backyard Bird Count, click on this link for instructions:

Here's the checklist to make your bird count:

Don't know the names of the kinds of birds in your yard?   Here's a great poster with pictures of common birds: