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Category: Perspectives

Provider Blog: Winter Bird Watching

There are lots of common birds in Indiana that stick around for winter. Many of these are colorful favorites that evoke a winter feeling. Our two picks were Cardinals and Blue Jays.

Bird feeders are lively places during the winter months and their presence is important. Feeding winter birds can be a fun and educational activity for kids; they can learn about different species while also learning about their habitats, diets, and winter survival tools.

How We Explored Our Winter Birds:

  1. Create a bird observation center in your play area by setting up bird feeder stations. You can build your own from recycled materials such as milk cartons, recycled jugs or pinecones or purchase pre-made bird feeders.
  2. Next decide what type of bird seed you want to use. Investigate what types of food will attract which birds, and offer the children a choice of which they’d like to try– or fill one feeder with one type, and a second with another, and encourage the children to compare which birds they see around each.
  3. Placing feeders by a window for indoor viewing is an excellent idea for those cold winter days. You can create a chart on a whiteboard or large sheet of paper so they can check off birds they see on it.
  4. After a few weeks, compile your observations looking for patterns in birds observed at your feeders at different times of the day. Discuss the results.

For more bird-bassed fun, try these:

  1. Make bird seed play dough for your table activity or sensory table. Try picking up seeds with different shaped tongs and notice which is the most successful for different kinds of seeds.
  2. Go on a bird feather hunt and research to identify the bird it came from. Record children’s hypotheses and look for a live match!

by Stephanie McKinstry of Caterpillar Clubhouse Nature Preschool

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