Backyard Bird Watching For Kids

by Mary Ellen K. on April 22, 2011

bird-watching-kids

Feeding and watching your backyard birds should not be any different than caring for your new puppy, kitten, hamster or guinea pig. Responsibilities should be shared by the family. As National Kids & Pet Day comes around on April 26, it’s a good time to get your kids involved with caring for your feathered backyard neighbors…and not end up being the one doing all of the work!

Here are the activities I did to get my children interested in attracting birds to our yard, and making them responsible for providing basic necessities for keeping the birds happy in our yard.

I got my daughters involved from the start. They decided on what type of birds they would like to attract to their backyard. Kathryn chose finches and Clair chose hummingbirds. I shopped with them and included them in the decision of which feeder and which seed should be used. It was great for them to go on sites like Drs Foster & Smith’s Backyard Kids to find information to help them make these choices.

The feeder they each chose was their responsibility… it was assigned to each of them. If they wanted to see the birds at their feeders, they needed to make sure the feeder was clean, filled regularly and in good working condition.

Backyard Bird Watching Activities For Children
Here are some great activities that you can do with your children… some they can even do on their own, depending on their age.

Pine cone birdfeeder

  1. Supply Bird Nesting Materials: Clean a small lunch-sized milk carton and cut a hole in one side. Stuff it with string, yarn and lint pieces. Punch a hole on the top and attach a long string/yarn. Hang a few of these in the trees so the birds have ample supplies for their nests.
  2. Make an Easy Birdfeeder: Pictured to the right is my daughter, Kathryn, spreading peanut butter on a pinecone. This is a great activity and the birds love it. Make a simple pinecone bird feeder with a pinecone, string, peanut butter and seed.
  3. Make a Tasty Garland For Birds: String up some bread, popcorn and fruits and make your own garland for the birds.

Other Activities For Children to Help Backyard Birds
If you get them involved, they will open up their minds and bring you more ideas of how to make birding fun for them. These are some examples that my daughters came up with for our yard:

  • Trees: Don’t trim the trees back so much. Let them drape the walkway between the woods and the house so the birds have natural shelter and a good place to escape when feeding from our feeders near the house.
  • Flowers: Plant/hang some flowers to attract hummingbirds.
  • Birdfeeders: Put feeders in the woods and on trees skirting the woods to draw them closer to our yard/windows.
  • Roosts: Put up a few winter roosts so the birds stay around more in the winter.

Have fun helping your children learn to enjoy your backyard birds!

Related Bird Watching Posts:


Mary Ellen and her husband have two children and Jager, a lab/husky mix adopted from a local rescue organization. Mary Ellen did not grow up in a household with any pets, but it took only a few months working at Drs. Foster and Smith to make her realize she had to have one. She is a merchandising manager here and holds a BS in Business Administration and Marketing from Marquette University.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

AnimalsAway April 24, 2011 at 10:06 am

We have red robbins and blue jays all over our yard our children love to sit and watch, we scatter seed around the yard, and hang pine cones with peanut butter and seed right above our window. A nice way to enjoy things that are simple with your children.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: