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“Tweet” This: Start a Bird Journal
Sky, trees and parks are now busy with birds. My city backyard is atwitter with robins, finches, sparrows and doves and evening is bright with a pair of cardinals. Migrating geese honk from the heavens.
How to best welcome these springtime friends? In my family, we’re dusting off the hummingbird feeder and preparing our wildlife habitat for new growth.
Children’s author Sallie Wolf puts out a metaphorical welcome mat through her slim, beautiful volume, The Robin Makes a Laughing Sound (Charlesbridge, 2010, $11.95). It’s a creative record of the birds that Wolf enjoys watching. Included are small poems, brief descriptions, lively sketches, watercolor paintings and lists of birds seen on particular dates.
This book models the catch-all style of an artist’s or naturalist’s notebook: careful observation and note-taking, creative response, in-the-moment drawings. It may well inspire a single child to watch and write or spur a shared journal for the entire family.
National Wildlife Federation has great resources to inspire your child to keep a bird journal:
- Download journal pages
- Attract amazing birds to your backyard by making a nesting box, a hummingbird feeder, or a milk jug bird feeder.
- Record your sightings on National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Watch map.
- Learn fun facts about birds from Ranger Rick.
- A Sense of Wonder Grows in the Garden – You don’t have to be an expert to teach your kids about nature. Rachel Carson says, lead with your heart, not your head.
- 16 Tips for Wildlife Gardening With Kids- One of the best things you may ever cultivate in your yard is a gardener; share your love of nature with a child.