The summer has been extremely busy and has sailed by in a fun-filled blur. One of the big projects we are working on is a complete overhaul of the “Birdfreak Guide to Taking Kids Birding”.
Some of what we hope to accomplish:
- One guide split into two age groups, each of which can be printed separately as needed
- Dozens of new topics discussed
- Increased recommended books and web-based resources
- Translation into Spanish
There is no set deadline for this project but traditionally the updates have been done near the end of September. We’re hoping to meet that time frame.
If you have any suggestions of what to add please download the guides and give us your opinion (either in the comments below or by contacting us directly.)
4 thoughts on “Birdfreak Guide to Taking Kids Birding: Overhaul”
I have found your guides invaluable. This past spring I handed out over a hundred copies at different events I have attended. One of my greatest passions is to get my kids outside, and now I’ve found myself promoting this to everyone I speak with.
I am looking forward to the guides. As a birder with limited background in education and less formal training I find your guides are exactly what the doctor ordered. Keep up the good work!
William – It is comments like this that motivate us to put in many hours of late-night writing and research. Thank you so much for the kind words and for spreading the word of getting kids outside!!
I have four youngs kids of my own that have had to endure my birding hobbying and I’ve been leading family bird walks in my community for the last year. I’ve learned a lot about keeping kids engaged. Your tips on drinks and snacks and good optics are spot on. A one hour bird-walk duration is about right for the kids in the younger age bracket. Kids also need potty breaks.
One thing I’ve learned does not work is simply pointing out and identifying every bird for them. The kids are initially amazed that I am such a bird genius, but then quickly get bored. The same applies to leading adult bird walks.
A successful things I’ve learned:
– Create a custom bird guide for the habitat and season. I do this with photos taken from a Google Image search, listed in taxonomic order, and printed in color on regular sized paper. Sometimes I will even put a bold border around the pictures of the birds we are most likely to see. When we see a bird, I ask them to point out the characteristics of the bird. Then I have the kids search their field guides to identify it. It creates a little bit of fun competition for the kids to be the first to find it in the field guide. This process is much more engaging for the kids and it improves their skills. This even engages the parents a lot more. I let the kids keep the bird guides and I also include some of the “Cool Facts” about each bird from Cornell’s “All About Birds” website.
Robert – thank you much. We really love the ideas you added. Custom bird guides is a super idea. We will expand on that in the updated guide and give you a plug for it!