The Great Bird Count

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The Great Bird Count 2Last week was The Great Bird Count from February 14-17.  The bird count was started by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society.  It is an online data collection of, you guessed it, bird sightings.  You simply register and keep track of the birds you observe during the four-day period.  You are able to see in real time the different variety of birds from all over.  This is a great activity for school or home.  We loved the opportunity to enjoy nature and have Lily learn and experience at the same time.

The Great Bird Count

We celebrated the week with a few different bird activities.  We made sure to read one of Lily’s favorite books, Riki’s Birdhouse by one of her favorite authors, Monica Wellington.

DSC_7635In reality, Lily loves all of her books. Monica Wellington mixes a whimsical and child-friendly perspective with informational text. Engaging and educational,  gotta love that.  She also incorporates extension activities at the end of every book.  In Riki’s Birdhouse there are plans for building and installing a birdhouse, a recipe for bird food cupcakes, and other resources for further exploration.  Lily had us read this book every night last week.  She is definitely obsessed!

The Great Bird CountWe also built a birdhouse of our own, without following any particular plan.  Lily and I found some scraps of plywood.  We measured and cut the pieces we needed.  Then we used brads to join the pieces.  I also have a 1 3/4″ hole saw drill bit that we used to make the entryway for our feathered friends.  Lastly, we drilled a 3/4″  hole just below and slid a dowel in for a perch.  My next step is to learn how to build a house for people.  Can it be as easy as the birdhouse?  Lily loved painting the birdhouse.  She chose red for the base and black for the roof.  In all honesty, I think she did a much better job than I would have ever done.  We can’t wait to see if we get a family living there in the springtime.

The Great Bird CountLily also drew and painted some of the birds we observed in our backyard, starting her first science journal.  She definitely has an artist’s hand.  It also helps that Kelly, her mother, is an exceptional art teacher and artist.  Kelly taught her to draw a bird using a few basic shapes. Lily used marker to outline her bird and then added watercolors to finish.  It was amazing to me the care she put forth into her creation, not to mention the actual finished piece.  Sometimes it is hard to believe that my daughter is just four years old.

The Great Bird Count

We really enjoyed The Great Bird Count and all the activities that it inspired.  You probably wouldn’t believe that simply looking out your window at some backyard aviators could be the source of so much fun.  We are all looking forward to next year’s count! 🙂

The Great Bird Count