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Autumn is a great time of the year to start bird watching. As there is not that much food left in the fields they tend to come closer to our dwelling. It's strange that many European children know the animals of Africa, but not the birds of their own land. Introduce your kids to the Eurasian magpie, and they'll have a friend to enjoy forever.

Where do we start?

Some of the best bird-watching is in your own back yard. In most places, our feathered neighbors include the Eurasian magpie. Many other colorful birds are there to see every day. It's easy to learn the birds that live around you. Set aside a patch for your child where they can grow plants to encourage birds. Sunflowers are fun to grow and the birds will love the seeds they produce. Let your child help fill the bird table and feeders and spend some time making a fat feeder with them. 

What do we need?

You'll need only two things to start watching birds- book and binoculars. 

There are lots of good bird watching books on the market but try and buy one that is written specifically for children as it will have lots of colorful pictures as well as activity guides which will keep them interested. It should also feature birds that your child is most likely to spot to make it simple to get started. If your children are very young consider getting them a sticker or coloring book.  If you don't have any book about birds and you don't feel like getting one, you can simply use flashcards or spy cards and fun can start (for download go to the games section).

Check spy cards here:


My favorite books that include also birds:



If possible buy your children their own pair of binoculars; it's a lot more fun to look at a bird together when you can both see it and if your little ones get serious about their hobby then they may want to carry their binoculars everywhere they go. Make sure the binoculars are lightweight and suitably designed for little hands and well protected against knocks and bumps. 



How do we introduce it to children?

It is a great activity to teach your children to be patient as you simply have to wait for the bird to occur. Make sure they know the importance of keeping quiet when they go out bird watching and not to wander off in search of a siting in dense woods, rocky terrains or near water. You should also make sure they know not to disturb nests and baby birds. 

Additional activities to support learning

Use your child's new hobby as a way of teaching them about other things. For example, on a globe or a map have your child trace migratory routes of birds and as they learn about birds habitats you can teach them more about wildlife conservation and the impact man has on the environment. 

With younger children you can make a sensory bin and teach them different colors and shapes of the birds’ feathers. For more fun you can use a loop to observe real feathers and encourage eye-hand recognition (for free download go to docs- toddler- let’s learn about birds, let’s learn colors with birds).

You can build your own bird house or a bird feeder. Here is one of the easiest:

Pine Cone Bird Feeder 

Tie some strong twine or a ribbon around the top of a pine cone taking care that it is in position and won't fall off. Spread some peanut butter or lard around the pine cone. Make sure the peanut butter is not salted as this will harm the birds. Roll the pine cone in some bird seed and hang from a tree or a bracket. 

Or if you don’t feel like, simply buy one and decorate it.

You will find more here