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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Birding for Kids

We always try to let kids look through our scope at birds.

We just got a nice letter from Jerry Medina, a teacher in Tucson, AZ who is encouraging his first grade class to become interested in birding and blogged about one of his budding birder students. That's so cool.

We love to encourage kids to get involved in birding activities. Kids who are interested and informed about birds become the conservation leaders of tomorrow. Here are a few tips and resources about birding for kids (click on the red links for more information.) Even small children can be introduced to birding. Make sure and lower spotting scopes to the proper height for kids so they can see the birds.

Our Stokes Beginner's Guide To Birds covers the 100 most common birds in the east or west and is organized by color of the bird so even children who cannot yet read, can look up a bird they see. The newly published,
Young Birders Guide by Bill Thompson, III, is also a wonderful resource. Older kids who are already into birding should have one of the many full size birding field guides. Kids should have appropriate sized binoculars, with smaller more compact binoculars given to smaller kids, and

full-sized binoculars for older kids.

The Young Birders part of the American Birding Association website is an excellent resource for kids age 10-18. They have a Young Birder of the Year Contest with prizes in categories for keeping a field notebook, bird illustration, bird writing and bird photography. They also have kid's birding camps and kid's scholarships to those camps and other birding activities. A Bird's-Eye View bimonthly newsletter is edited and written by young birders.

Most importantly, you can help spark an interest by taking a kid birding, whether it's your own kid, a grandchild, neice, nephew or just a friend.

Here's a link to the Young Birder's part of the American Birding Association website.


JM said...

Awesome stuff! Thanks for the link.

Marilyn Kircus said...

I started my grandson birding at 2 years. One of his first words was Dee Dee for chickadee. He soon knew lots of birds both by sight and sound.

He enjoyed using 3X binoculars when he was three and four. That way, he didn't have to be able to reach to change the focus.

He also liked to look up the birds he saw and match them to pictures.

Tim said...

Great post! I bird with my 4 year old son; he's actually the one that got me interested in birding a little over a year ago. His aunt (a non-birder) took him for a walk at a local nature preserve last week and when they returned she wanted to know what a vermillion flycatcher looked like because my 4 year old had excitedly pointed one out to her. He had only ever seen a picture of one that I took (and looking through our field guides). At times I'm convinced he's more observant than I am!

Chip Darmstadt said...

Another resource that people should know about are all the youth birding clubs popping up around the country. I know of clubs or programs in Ohio, New York, Washington and here in Vermont at the North Branch Nature Center.
Anyone know of a listing of all the various youth birding clubs/programs that are out there?

Birding Binoculars said...

Your blog is a kind of hard to find quality blog about Birding watching and Binoculars. I really enjoyed it

Lillian Stokes said...

A young birder wrote to us:

Chloe Walker has left a new comment on your post "Birding for Kids":

I'm a young birder (11 years old)
and I'm very interested in birds. My life list has hit 168 and our yard species list has hit 75!!! Not bad for a young birder. Thanks for putting the young birder websites on your blog. I have also entered the Young Birder of the Year Contest. I encourage young birders who love birds to take part in it.

Lillian Stokes said...

Thanks Chloe, we need more like you! Good luck in the ABA Young Birder of the Year contest. We have been judges of that contest before and also donated prizes :)