Backyard Bird Studies | Homeschool

Spring seems to be just around the corner, as this past week has brought warmer weather and sunny days. We’ve found daffodils growing in our yard, buds on the dogwood trees, and songbirds — lots of them — in the trees, in the grass, and all around the house.

If you have elementary students, consider doing a springtime unit study on the birds found in your backyard. Make some birdfeeders to hang in the trees and keep a record of the birds that visit. Then search your library for books with more information about those species. Below are some books we’re using.

What is a Bird? by Robert Snedden – This is a good book to use as you get started. It provides an overview of all the characteristics that make a bird a bird, covering topics such as feathers, wings and flying, beaks, songs and calls, and eggs.

Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists – Songbirds by Jonathan Latimer and Karen Nolting is designed for children to help them identify the songbirds they see. Twenty birds are included in this book, each one with color illustrations, a color photograph, and habitat, voice, and food information.

Blue Sky Bluebird by Rick Chrustowski – We’ve seen bluebirds around our house, and this book provided us with lots of information about them. Beginning with the birds building a nest in the nesting box, the author describes the life of a bluebird as it changes from a nestling to a fledgling to a contributing member of the family.

Swallows in the Birdhouse by Stephen R. Swinburne – Every summer we see baby swallows in their nests, so this book was a good choice for us. Like Blue Sky Bluebird, it follows the birds from nest to egg to fledgling to adult. The last few pages contain additional information, including facts about tree swallows, how to build a tree swallow birdhouse, and how to attract swallows to your birdhouse.

A Nest Full of Eggs by Priscilla Belz Jenkins is a Stage 1 reading book. This one describes the activities of robins with text that is written for younger children. If you have a preschooler or kindergartener, this book would be a good choice.

As you see more birds, search for the information about them together. Bird-watching and bird study is an activity the whole family can enjoy!

Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell

Photo by Carly & Art

Homeschooling Reading Curriculum by SmartTutor.com

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