Become a Birdwatching Family

Birdwatching as a family hobby is increasingly popular. People of all ages can enjoy it together! In another blog post, we offered tips on how to identify and attract your neighborhood birds. But there are more birds out there to find and enjoy! Here are 9 tips to help you get started birdwatching.

Where to Spot Birds

A nature hike in a nearby park, forest, or river area can reveal a variety of new and exciting birds you may have never seen. You can find your local birdwatching spots in North America through a quick search online. Once you have a location, use these simple tips to start birdwatching with your family.  

How to Get Started Bird Watching with Kids

1. Bring Birdwatching Gear

Every birdwatcher should gather a few things before heading out: 

  • Binoculars, if available
  • Notebook and pencils
  • Bird identification book 
  • Comfortable clothing and shoes
  • Water and energy-packed snacks

2. Practice Using Binoculars

It takes practice for children to get used to holding and looking through binoculars. Patience also takes practice. Sitting in one spot for a while and staying quiet can be difficult for some children. Do a few practice birdwatching sessions in the yard or local park before heading on a longer day trip.

3. Know When to Go

Timing is important! Venture out at dawn or dusk to see the most bird activity. If your children are older, have them research local birds and make a list of those they hope to see. 

4. Look for Signs

Look for the traces birds leave behind. Nests, cracked eggs, piles of seeds, and bird droppings are helpful clues to finding the birds which inhabit the area.   

5. Listen for the Birds

Birds can be hard to spot but easier to hear. Soon your family will start to recognize the more common sounds of local birds and then start guessing which bird song is which, just for fun! Audubon is a great resource to listen to and learn more about specific bird calls.

6. Make It a Game

What about a scavenger hunt or follow the leader? Children love to be given leadership roles and share their knowledge with others. Let them pick a few things for everyone else to find or lead the hike for a while. Birdwatching can be a mix of silent observation and fun learning activities! 

7. Gather Mementos

Rocks, twigs, and leaves can be added to a journal or memory box, but leave bird feathers, eggs, and nests as you found them.* Keep a record of the birds you see or hear in your notebook and add photos later on if you’re able to capture some. 

*FYI: The Migratory Bird Treaty Act makes it illegal to possess the feathers, eggs, and nests (even if empty) of migratory birds.*

8. Keep Watching at Home

Now that you have developed a yard that attracts local birds and learned birdwatching skills, this is a hobby that can grow at home and build memories on any trip your family takes! 

9. Have Fun!

Birdwatching is an adventure that can bring a family together as you share God’s beautiful creation—free for us all to enjoy.

In the Birds homeschool science unit from The Good and the Beautiful, families delve into ornithology, the study of birds. The final lesson includes a Bird Bingo game that is beautiful, fun, and easy for children of all ages to play.

Play the game now and  start recognizing birds that may be in your area! Download a free PDF (with instructions) of the Bird Bingo game below. All you need to play are the pages in this free download and something to mark your spaces with. (Marshmallows are fun, but sunflower seeds are also tasty!)

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Front Cover and Sample Pages Birdwatching Notebook
Graphic How to Attract Birds to Your Yard
Front Cover Drawing 100 Fun & Easy Birds

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  • Bird Bingo is so beautiful! I can’t wait for the Bird science unit to come out.

  • I was going to try and hold out on ordering the new Birds science unit but it is so BEAUTIFUL! We just moved and our new backyard has lots of mature trees full of birds! We discovered a nest in a bush near our front porch with baby birds in it and my kids marveled at them taking flight for the first time. Needless to say, I had to go ahead and order the Birds unit today (and all the extras because I know they’re going to be SO good). Thank you so much for this amazing curriculum and blog with resourceful and creative ideas!

  • Priscilla

    Thank you for easy suggestions to get us started! We loved your bird unit!