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Backyard Birding

Bird Watcher

Ages 4+

Explore local birds in their natural habitat - in your neighborhood and beyond.

Identify the birds you see and keep track of your findings on paper or in a sketchbook!

You can also use this Birding Notebook, created by the STEAM Initiative, to write your observations. 

This activity is one of The Hive's Take and Make Activities. 



Or download and print this Birding Notebook

Optional Materals:

Sketch pad
Colored pencils
Downloadable Bird Keys (by Summer Camp At Home):

Observe the birds you see and write your observations on your paper or in your notebook!

If you're going on an outdoor excursion, remember:

Bug Spray
Long socks & pants
Water Bottle

This activity supports the practice of these STEAM Habits of Mind: Develop Craft, Engage & Persist, Observe, Reflect, Stretch & Explore.

Tips for Supporting Your Children's Learning

Get your child actively involved in their own learning and have their questions drive their learning. Let them observe and figure it out, and try to hold back from answering questions for them. Instead, try to ask: What do we know? What else can we find out? How might we figure that out? Don't be afraid to ask your child questions. Also, don't be afraid to say, "I don't know--let's find out together!" as a way to respond to their questions.

More Activities

Want to learn more about backyard birding?

  • Local Birding:
    • Fresh Pond Reservation: 180-220 Fresh Pond Pkwy, (617) 349-6489
    • Mount Auburn Cemetery: 580 Mt Auburn St., (617) 547-7105
    • Alewife Brook Reservation: Alewife Station Access Rd., (617) 727-9693
    • Mass Audubon’s Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary: 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont, MA (617) 489-5050
    • Locate a birdwatching hotspot: www.birdwatchingdaily.com/hotspots

  • Digital Books: (available free on Hoopla with a Cambridge Public Library card
    • The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton W. Burgess
    • Birding is My Favorite Video Game by Rosemary Mosco
    • Audubon Birding Adventures for Kids by Elissa Wolfson
    • NPR Sound Treks: Birds by Jon Hamilton

  • Print Books:
    • A Beginner's Guide to Recognizing Trees of the Northeast by Mark Mikolas
    • Sibley's Backyard Birds of the Northeast by David Allen Sibley
    • The Young Birder's Guide to the Birds of North America by Bill Thompon III
    • Beginner's Guide to Birds: Eastern Region by Donald & Lillian Stokes
    • Birds and Birding at Mount Auburn Cemetery by Christopher Leahy

  • Websites:
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