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Summertime is perfect for backyard birding with kids

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Updated: 10/16/2012 6:25 pm
Looking for a fun, kid-friendly activity to help your family appreciate the outdoors? Backyard birding is a great way to get the kids outside and learning more about the beautiful birds in your area. Here are a few helpful backyard birding tips to get started. Educate with games Start your birding adventures by learning which birds are native to your state. There are numerous online resources that include species listings, like the Bird Library from Perky-Pet. Once you have your list, make it a game. Print out the different types of birds and let your kids check them off as they see them. Whoever spots the most species could win a prize, like a birdfeeder. Making it a game will help motivate them to get outside and start bird watching. Enjoy nature Nature is full of sounds and smells. While outside, have your kids close their eyes and sit quietly for a few moments. Discuss the sounds you hear and try to recreate bird sounds as you heard them. Since our feathered friends are attracted to flowers, seeds and berries, identify which plants will invite birds. Encourage your kids to research other plants that might attract new birds to your backyard. Teach responsibility Backyard birding is a great tool to encourage responsibility. If your birdfeeders are not cleaned weekly it's possible for dangerous bacteria to grow. This can have a disastrous effect on a community of birds. Create a birdfeeder-cleaning calendar for your child and make note of days when the feeders should be refilled. Depending on weather and the time of the year, your feeders may need to be filled with fresh seed daily. Help with nesting Birds appreciate being able to keep clean as well as being provided with nesting materials. Help your kids collect lint or strips of fabric to set outside for birds to use when building their nests. As a family, set up a birdbath or bird waterer, like the new Perky-Pet Droplet Bird Waterer, and take turns keeping it cleaned and filled with fresh water. Attract new birds Have your kids select a new bird species they would like to see and learn how to attract them to your yard. One fun choice for young birders is the hummingbird. Hummingbird feeder kits, like the Perky-Pet Oasis Hummingbird Feeder Complete Set, include all the essentials for feeding these tiny birds and will help your child become familiar with this species. Have your child take notes on the hummingbird behavior they witness including the birds' swift movements, territorial nature and whether they eat while perched or while flying. Connecting kids with nature is always a good idea, and birding is a fun way to start. So now, equipped with these kid-friendly ideas, it's time to start your backyard birding adventure. It's the perfect way to get your kids outside and the birds will enjoy the extra attention as well.
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