If you’re lucky enough to have a back yard, have you ever thought about teaching the kids the different birds that visit your property every day? Learning about the birds, their own unique characteristics and differentiating between the different species is a great activity. Have you ever thought about bird watching?
Maybe you don’t know much about birds themselves? Can you tell a cockatoo from a corella, a rosella from a Lorikeet?
6 bird watching activities in the back yard
Identify the birds that visit your garden
If you have a back yard (or front yard) that has some trees or bushes and is free of pets like dogs and cats, you will likely visit one or two birds every day. Can you name all the birds that visit your garden? Bird watching will help you.
My kids love birds, so we used them Birds of Western Sydney photo guide to identify and categorize the birds that visit our back yard. We are not really in the West Sydney area, but have found that this resource is perfect for identifying ALL birds visiting our property.
Count the birds that visit your garden
Once you know which birds are visiting your garden, you can start counting the ones that visit your property most often using a simple counting system. Learning to count is a great life skill for children and can be generalized to various activities like counting cars, rating games, every time a speaker says “um” in a speech, and so on.
Download the Kid Bucket List bird counter
Categorize the birds
Australian birds are a wide range of uniqueness with many attributes that distinguish them from each other. Feet, beaks, feathers, wings – all of these help determine their groupings.
Placing birds in their families can be a fun activity for children. Is it a parrot? Is it a bird of prey? There are many resources on the Internet that can help you with this activity, and possibly other types of lessons at home. The Beaks Feet and Feathers resource is my favorite.
Draw more birds into your garden
Wouldn’t it be great if you could attract more birds to your garden? Luring native birds into your garden is an interesting project because you need to find out what actually reinforces their return behavior.
There are four main points to start with: shelter, water, food, security.
If you want to attract more birds to your property, you should think about creating a suitable habitat where your favorite bird species feel welcome. Protection could be a consideration, especially if you want to invite breeding birds into your garden.
In the wild, many Australian bird species use natural hollows in trees. Nowadays, trees that have voids in a typical back yard are removed because they are considered unsafe. This has greatly reduced suitable habitats on many suburban properties. Choosing to create a nesting box or two and placing them in good spots in your garden can lengthen the bird life, but you need help.
The environmental officer at your local authority can tell you what species of bird your support needs. This helps in determining the shape and size of the bird box. You must do this properly, otherwise invasive minors or even wasps may take over the nesting box.
Carefully selected native plants are probably the most effective way to attract birds to your garden and provide appropriate protection. The home gardener’s source of information provides some useful tips to help you plan.
Have you ever seen birds in the water? They absolutely love bathing and drinking. Interestingly, different birds have different ways to interact with water. Some, like parrots, like to dance and shake in the water. Some like to swim. Some like to drink water from the edge. It is important to provide a number of different water sources if you want to lure birds into your garden.
When it is hot, birds flock to your garden when they know you are offering water.
For years I thought that birds love bread. There were times when I grabbed a loaf of bread and went to the local pond to feed the ducks. I recently learned that this is far from ideal for most birds and their bellies. So what do you feed birds?
Australian native birds like to eat various foods such as nectar, seeds and / or berries and insects. I acknowledge that feeding wild birds in your garden is a pretty controversial topic. I’ve learned that bread, minced meat, and even honey / water mixes can be problematic and lead to malnutrition if that’s all your bird visitors eat. I would not spend this food on your birds. Unsanitary practices can also lead to disease or the spread of disease in your small bird population. So you have to do this correctly.
Do not buy your bird feed in the supermarket at first. The experts show that this does not meet the nutritional needs that native birds need inside. Instead, look for Commercial nectar blends or seed blends from a good goods store. For carnivorous birds you can easily try dry dog food or dog rolls as these are the best alternatives at the moment (thanks for this tip Bird in Backyards). It is recommended to supplement them with an insectivorous mixture (such as Wombaroo), which is also available in good shops.
When your bird stations start encouraging herds to form, you have to stop. Any flock of over 20 birds or more can actually cause disease to spread. You have to avoid this. For the same reason, clean your station after each feeding to prevent Mynas from eating the leftovers. Make sure that this is a Sometime rather than one Every day Kind of thing.
For us, we try to create a garden that is rich in native grasses, bushes, and trees that bloom and produce gumnuts, etc. that attract birds. We already have local honey eaters and lorikeets who visit us every day without having to offer bought groceries.
This should go without saying, if you have a cat or dog, your garden is not a very safe space. Birds are unlikely to populate an area where they encounter your pet. Think about the room where you want the animals to come and reduce access to your pets.
Create a native garden room
The best way to lure birds into your garden is to create a native garden space. We spent a lot of time as a family figuring out what brings all the birds to our garden! Gardening Australia has this nifty resource that identifies a number of native Australian plants that will work in your garden.
We found grevillea, bottle brush and banksias to pull most of the birds into our garden. By watering regularly and providing a good local fertilizer, magpies also seemed to be attracted to our space, perhaps by the worms of other small invertebrates.
Learn to recognize bird song
Bird singing is one of the most beautiful sounds in my opinion (except Penguin song – that’s pretty horrible) Dawn or dusk can sound like a symphony of joy depending on the time of year, but can you identify the different birds that sing?
The Top 40 Birds songs offers the sound of forty different birds. Learning each of them and then trying to spot them in the back yard can be a lot of fun. With a little creativity, you can use the sounds to play bingo, Hear Hear (like Eye Spy but with sounds) and a number of other games.
So what do you think Are you ready for a little bird watching in your own garden? We’d love to hear what birds you see.
Do other things at home
8 wildlife webcams that you can watch from your sofa
6 ways to easily teach your children photography
Kid Craft: stained glass pasta window
Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Labo: STEM comes to play
14 Visit Australian Museum from your living room
A dozen podcasts for kids
Online school: virtual course and online learning resources for parents
Note: We are not the author of this content. For the Authentic and complete version,
Check its Original Source