Watching Birds in the Garden: A Great Kids Activity

Just now there is quite a lot in the media about garden birds. Next weekend 28/29 January 2012 is the RSPBs Great Garden Bird Watch and people have been noting that they are not seeing so many birds in the garden during this, so far, mild winter.  This article reckons there are staying in the countryside.

In our garden this week we have seen our resident wren, starlings, blackbirds, blue tits, great tits, 2 robins, pigeons, a greater spotted woodpecker and the blackbird shown above eating berries from the ivy.
Spotting and identifying birds is an ideal activity for children this time of year. You can see them through the window and you don’t necessarily have to use binoculars. Binoculars are not always easy for small children, who may have difficulty finding and focusing on the subject. A bird table or feeder will encourage the birds as may a bird water bath. The birds in our garden are attracted by the oak tree next door and our shrubs with berries.
It is useful to have a bird book or identification sheet close at hand to help with deciding what has been seen. Spotting birds from upstairs windows and also from the front of the house adds a bit of variety. We only ever see sparrows in our front garden. Possibly because there are more hedge type plants in front gardens. You could also pop outside to check which birds you can hear. Our garden is rarely without birdsong or noise.
Spotting birds is a great skill for your children to have. It makes walks and journeys far more interesting and helps them appreciate and learn about wildlife. I can’t now resist in showing you below what I spotted last week. No, it wasn’t in my garden, but just off the river Thames in London. If you are lucky enough to be close to a kingfisher, it must be one of the easiest birds in the country to spot.
Kingfisher on the Thames
The whole family is looking forward to the garden bird watch next weekend. We will try and complete our hour before midday as usually there are more birds about. Hope you find the time to do the same.
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