Discover the Forest – Birding

by Becky Elmuccio on November 12, 2012

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In the last year, we have been finding ourselves becoming more of a birding family. It’s not something that I had a tremendous amount of interest in before we had Tomato. But, watching the world through her eyes and seeing her joy in learning about birds has certainly turned us around.

Cardinal (Photo Courtesy of hart_curt)

Birding is something that you can start in your own backyard with window feeders, putting scraps of yarn out for nests, and setting up homes and feeders for your avian friends to visit. I just cleaned out our feeders this weekend and am looking forward to filling them with seed so that we can attract some new friends.

Feeders need to be washed thoroughly before new seed is put in.

Feeders drying in the sun

Birding is easily expanded into parks and forests in your area and is an inexpensive hobby for any family to take up. A set of binoculars, a decent bird guide, and some seed is all that you need. Another benefit to birding is that it is a year round affair. Between the weather and migration patterns, you can see a whole host of species come through your area.

The educational benefits for children is endless. Children can discuss colors, names of species, size differences, song differences, and when you see which types of birds. We’ve recently had a hawk show up in our neighborhood and between that and the new turkey buzzard, we’ve delved into a whole new level of conversation about what birds eat!

Recently, the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council teamed up to issue the Discover the Forest’s Get Your Community Outdoors Challenge. My proposal is to get our MOMS Club children each a set of binoculars and a birding guide book. The $1000 grant could also help us to take some field trips to the Cape May migration area and the John James Audubon Center in Pennsylvania. The $500 airline gift card could go towards visiting a National Park that has birds that we don’t normally see in our area. It would provide us with a great opportunity to add a new element to outdoor playdates within our group and help children enjoy the subtleties of nature.

So, please take a moment to head over to Goodmaker between November 14 and November 30, 2012 to vote for my idea! We’d really enjoy the excitement that the kids would have and the learning opportunities that it could garner for them. Thanks!!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen Bobbitt November 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

My 2 year old loves watching birds. I have feeders outside of our big bay window and spend a lot of time in the woods.

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Becky Elmuccio November 14, 2012 at 12:47 am

It’s such a great hobby. I find us getting very excited when a new bird lands on our hedges while we eat breakfast.

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Noelle (@singerinkitchen) November 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm

That IS a neat idea!

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Becky Elmuccio November 14, 2012 at 12:47 am

Thanks, Noelle! Keeping fingers crossed that we win!

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Sarah @ Nature's Nurture November 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I’ve been wanting to get into birding for a while and I LOVE your proposal idea! I really hope you win that grant! :)

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Becky Elmuccio November 14, 2012 at 12:48 am

Thanks, Sarah!

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Sarah November 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Great idea to get children engaged in learning outdoors. I would love to have bird feeders now that we have a yard, but I’m afraid my dogs would terrorize them.

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Becky Elmuccio November 14, 2012 at 12:50 am

I wonder if there is a way to deter that. I’ll ask at our bird store the next time that I am in.

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pam November 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm

You’ll have to do the Great Backyard Bird Count in February!

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Becky Elmuccio November 14, 2012 at 1:07 am

We did it last year, Pam and it’s what got us hooked! Can’t wait to do this year and may try to do more than just our house this year.

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artmusedog and Carol November 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm

wow! Lovely photos of beautiful birds and how to ~ ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

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ivylover November 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm

We live on the other side of philli from you and birding is something we’ve done just a bit but I’d love to know more… my children are 3 and under how do I get started at this age? I’d love to know more about the places you mentioned, as they may be somethings we can do as well

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Lisa November 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm

One thing I love about this post is that it inspires for some of the members of my family to have a cause for our forest trips. We love to go on hikes into the woods or forests around us but some of them get bored. If we get the books and bring along some binoculars we just may be on the right track to keeping everyone entertained. Thanks for the tips!

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