Your kids will enjoy learning about birds in a fun spring bird study.
Birds are all around us everyday. In the city and in the country. Do you stop and take the time to really notice them?
Spring is a wonderful time to sit back and observe birds, and to learn more about the intricate nests they build. The kids and I did just that in a recent nature study.
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Studying nature is important for all children, and fits into homeschool lessons very easily. We include weekly nature studies in our morning basket time. Birds are a wonderful topic to study all throughout the year. In fact, we did a winter bird study just a couple of months ago.
However, spring is a great time to study spring birds and bird nests. So for our spring bird study, I found books and activities to help my kids learn more about the different places birds call home. We noticed differences in which birds are outside our windows in spring from those we saw in the winter. When you take the time to sit back and really observe birds, you notice they are wonderfully interesting creatures! You definitely should plan to learn about birds as part of a spring nature study.
How to Create a Spring Bird Nature Study
To begin our spring bird nature study, I looked through our Exploring Nature with Children curriculum first. This curriculum can be used as is, or as a starting off point for our nature studies. I especially appreciate that I was able to use this curriculum to plan a bird study for my preschooler as well as the one below for my older boys.
Remember, nature study doesn’t have to be a long, involved process. I am all about making homeschooling easy. So our studies are rather simple. We spend about 15-20 minutes on each daily activity.
Spring Bird Nature Walk
One of the first activities we do each week during nature study is a nature walk to study our topic. For our bird nature walk, we walked around our property to search for bird nests. We are fortunate enough to have a few acres of wooded land.
However, you can certainly search for bird nests throughout your neighborhood, or even your backyard! In a previous house, we enjoyed watching eggs hatch in a nest in a bush right outside our family room window. Robins are all over in the spring, so you could focus on robin nests for your spring bird study, too.
Spring Bird Feeders
Bird feeders are something that can be up year round. However, we always enjoy extra feeders we can put out for our spring birds. At the end of April, we put out nectar and oranges for the Baltimore orioles that come around. We also enjoy seeing the ruby-throated hummingbirds that come to our feeders.
Your kids can help you fill the bird feeders as needed. They can also make feeders of their own. This pinecone bird feeder is a fun project for kids of all ages. Also, your kids might enjoy making this bird feeder made with an orange.
Using a Nature Journal during a Bird Study
Books are a large portion of our nature study learning. I try to find at least 2-3 nonfiction books about each topic we cover . Toward the end of each study, the boys write down what they’ve learned in their nature journals. Most of the time they can also illustrate something. It might be what they’ve seen that week, the anatomy of our topic, or to show something they’ve learned.
For our spring bird study, we read a lot of books about various bird nests. So at the end of our study, I had them draw a bird nest of their choice with eggs inside it. They could also write down what they learned about bird nests and the different kinds of nests.
Along with adding illustrations to nature journals, kids will enjoy drawing birds for fun as well. This can be done in a variety of ways. First, kids could look in a how to draw birds book and practice sketching birds. They could use watercolor to paint a bird and its nest. My kids also love to use chalk pastels, especially tutorials like this You Are an Artist bird video course (if you scroll to the bottom, you’ll find a free cardinal lesson).
Books about Bird Nests for Kids
I didn’t read all of the books I have about birds and bird nests for this study. Since I keep our nature studies to a week, I usually choose 2-3 that best share the topic. Then I set the rest of them in a special nature study basket. This way the boys can read more about each topic on their own.
The Burgess Bird Book for Children is a must read any time of year and makes a great addition to a morning basket. I have the black and white version, but this color version looks beautiful! We read through this book during a whole school year a couple of years ago & loved it!
A Nest Full of Eggs is a great read aloud, but is also easy enough for children to read themselves as well. The focus is on the American robin and how it creates its nest.
Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? is a book about different bird calls. The simple text makes it a quick read aloud and easy for children to read themselves.
This is the Nest that Robin Built is a fun book for younger elementary. It shows how different animals create materials like twigs and mud that are perfect for the robin’s nest. Kids will like the textured look to the illustrations.
A Nest is Noisy is not just about bird nests, but it’s a wonderful book to read for a bird nature study. Seeing all the different animal nests might even be a good lead in to another nature study after the bird study! The illustrations in this book are beautiful.
An Egg is Quiet is by the same author as the previous book. This book shows different bird eggs, as well as the development of a bird inside an egg.
Mama Built a Little Nest is a wonderful read aloud. With each bird shown, more information is shown under the picture that explains more about that bird’s nest.
Cradles in the Trees is a great read aloud to begin a bird nature study about nests. The book shares different places where birds build their nests and what they look like.
Bird Nests is a book that I happened to find at a thrift store. It’s a wonderful book for older children to read on their own, or even just to look at the actual pictures of different birds and nests.
Bird Field Guides and Reference Books for Kids
Birds, Nests and Eggs is a great field guide for kids. Each pair of pages shows a different bird, along with what its nest looks like and where they are built, and what the eggs look like. These take along guides are small and light enough to throw in a backpack for a nature hike.
The Peterson Field Guide to Birds is my personal favorite guide at our house. We always have it by the window that looks out on our bird feeders so we can look up the birds we see.
Nature Anatomy is a great reference book for many nature topics. For our spring bird study, we used this book to look at bird nests and types of birds.
Bird Games for Kids
Games are a wonderful addition to your homeschool. If you want to add a game or two to your spring bird study, then you may enjoy these games and puzzles.
We love the trivia games from Professor Noggins. The Birds of North America card game is a fun way to end your spring bird study.
This Memory Bird Game will help your kids review birds they’ve studied, as well as see other birds found around North America.
This is another Bird Matching Game. It has fewer cards and is less expensive than the previous game, which would work well for younger children. They also match the flashcards below.
These Backyard Bird Flashcards are perfect for a nature table so your kids can learn about birds on their own! They show different birds found around North America, including different traits and habitats.
Bird Puzzles are another fun addition to a bird study. An added benefit is that your children can work on fine motor skills and critical thinking skills while completing them.
Learn about Bird Calls in this Video
Additional Ideas and Resources You May Enjoy
- Include music appreciation in your spring bird study with these 10 classical music pieces inspired by birds.
- Here’s a variation for your bird nature walk.
- If you enjoy using the Montessori method with younger children, you may like these bird printables to use with the Safari Toobs: Backyard Birds.
- I love these bird identification cards from Tanglewood Hollow. We have several works from them and they are always great additions to our studies.
- John James Audubon spent many years drawing birds all over the world. A wonderful addition to a bird study is to study the man who photographed so many birds.
Birds are such wonderful creatures to discover and observe. In the spring, a bird study about bird nests is perfect. Your kids will love to hunt for bird nests on a nature walk. They will enjoy seeing birds eat at feeders they help fill or create. Finally they can reinforce their learning through nature journals and games. Be sure to leave some time in your homeschool day this spring for a fun bird nature study!
What birds do you enjoy seeing around your house each spring?