Working together to raise our children

Bird ID, Watching & Care

Bird can give children hours of fun in so many different ways - from watching birds of prey circle overhead, to pairs of birds collecting material for their nests, mixing seeds to make bird feeders and collecting shed feathers to create wonderful artwork.

It's all about getting outside (or looking through a window), exploring and creating!

Below you'll find some ideas to do with your budding twitchers!

Feeding birds gives them extra energy boosts & nutrition during breeding months, build strength to migrate & survive the cold winter months. 

1.

Tits and greenfinches favour peanuts and sunflower seeds.  Small seeds, such as millet, attract mostly house sparrows, dunnocks, finches, reed buntings and collared doves.

2.

Did you know that Red Kites have a fork in their tails, distinguishing them clearly from their larger cousin, the Buzzard who has a more solid curved tail.

3.

There are 10,000 difference bird species in the world, with the Ostrich being the largest standing at 2.7m and a wingspan of 2m.

4.

The most talkative bird is the African Gray Parrot. One parrot could say over 800 words. Most species of parrots can learn only 50

5.

Birds have hollow bones which help them fly & their heart beats 400 times per minute while resting and up to 1000 beats per minute while flying

6.

Parent Tips

Early Years Activities

Why not collect feathers on your next walk and create paintbrushes with them using sticks and string?

Use sellotape to gently make a bracelet (sticky side up) and make feather bracelets together... leaves & common wildflowers can also be picked and used such as daisies.

Explore the shape and length using rulers - compare sizes and line up in order, using language to describe such as big, small, medium, large, tiny etc.  Why not practice writing the length down too?!

Activity 1

Log Bird Feeder

 

You will need:  Log, string, drill, thick drill bit, lard (or coconut oil) and mixed bird feed, saucepan, mixing bowl and wooden spoon.

 

On your walk, find a small log together (green wood is best if you can - green wood is fresh as opposed to wood that's been lying on the floor for years).  Ask your child to measure their chosen log against your ankle for width and forearm for thickness.

Using a drill and a thick drill bit, drill a hole straight through the top to feed some wire or string for hanging the feeder up.  Now drill 2cm deep holes sporadically into the log, around 20 holes will be ideal.  Have your child put their hand over yours as you drill, or if you have a confident child able to pull the trigger, you hold the weight whilst they action the drill bit.

Melt some lard on a low heat (ideally on a fire you've made together!) on a cooker; coconut oil also works a treat if you're lifestyle dictates something other than an animal product.  Once melted and slightly cooled, why not use a digital scale to measure bird seed into a bowl and watch the numbers change together (great for mathematically learning).

Pour the seed into the bowl and mix.  Once it has cooled to a luke warm temperature, children can use their hands to scoop and push into the holes in the log

Activity 2

 

Bird Feeder on a Wire

 

You will need a 30cm piece of wire and chopped cheese and chopped mixed fruit, bread and raisins (2cm squared pieces).

Thread the chopped food into the wire, looking at patterns, experiencing smells and textures of the food.  Wind together and go and hang in your garden!  Viola!

Activity 3

 

Digital Feather ID

 

The wonderful RSPB have a fun game for children where you can learn together and work out which feathers come from a bird's wing, body or tail - why not play together and then put your knowledge into practice on your next adventure together?!

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