Project Feederwatch and the Great Backyard Bird Count for many years now, there are rarely birds we can't identify but we did not start off with that level of knowledge. One bird at a time, we added to our life list.
Now that we can tell a Purple finch from a House finch and a House sparrow from a White-Crowned sparrow, that counting goes much faster. We have our clipboard, binoculars, and field guide right in the front window where we can view our bird feeding station and bird bath.
This month's Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter has several smaller grids for you to use while observing birds in your yard. Each of these grids will help train your eyes to see different aspects of the birds and keep a simple record of what you see. Being able to name the colors and to describe the various bird parts is a first step to learning to use that information to identify your backyard birds with a field guide. The two grids in the newsletter are perfect for beginners or younger children and the other tally boxes will give your older students something to use with their nature journals.
I encourage you to print this page out of the newsletter and keep it with your bird watching resources. There is also a notebook page for your nature journal to record your feeder bird activity.
I was inspired by The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady
by Edith Holden to include a poem and perhaps a sketch a bird's egg in my nature journal. If you have the book, pull it out and add it to your nature table, open to one of the March pages which feature birds.
I am excited to share my recent Florida adventure with you. I was able to add quite a few birds to my life list while visiting Sanibel and Captiva Islands as well as visiting the Corkscrew Swamp Sactuary and Clam Pass Beach Park in Naples.
So have you gotten started with your bird grid studies?