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Backyard Bird Study

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I'm thinking about possibly doing a unit study with my kids about local birds. I found a great lapbook from HS Share and some free nature study pages at Currclick. The big question that I have is -- is there an easy way to attract several varieties of local birds to our own yard? I live in Ohio and do not really know anything about local birds myself, so this would be a learning experience for all of us. Is winter the best time to try or should we wait until spring/summer? If I buy one bird feeder and put out bird seed, will that attract lots of one variety or a will we actually see different varieties of birds there? If you can help, I would love hear your advice. If you have other resources you would suggest to round out the study, those would be appreciated too. TIA!

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http://www.amazon.co...birds of ohio




Make sure you get some Ohio-specific guides. That first one (blue) shows which birds migrate. We've done birdseed and suet on and off. It's cheap enough to get started, I suggest you go ahead and do it, see what comes, try different things, and just enjoy it. If you get enough birds that you want to go ahead and do your unit study, then you can. If you don't get a lot of birds, you could go ahead and do the study anyway. Then in the spring, when it's not so cold, you can go on nature walks with your guides to notice birds. There's sort of a rhythm to it. You can get Wildflowers of Ohio and do that first in the spring, then switch to Birds of Ohio, then a mushroom guide, then a bug guide, and by fall things are winding down and you're noticing more birds as they migrate.


We have woodpeckers out now, because I have several I can watch from my windows. However some of the more interesting birds like northern bluebirds I haven't been seeing. I think I saw cardinals a couple days ago, but I could be crazy (my memory isn't too hot). I don't recall being astounded with what we got when we put out our feeders. It's definitely fun to do though. Our feeder was squirrel-proof and came from walmart. Bummer was, they had good food when we started and then started carrying only boring stuff with lots of small filler. Suet goes over big. If your kids are young, you can make fun suet feeders with crisco, peanut butter, and birdseed, all applied on a pine cone, making it easy to hang.


I think I'm saying for us birds have been occasional, not some intense push that netted a lot of sightings. But it's still fun to do, and the state-specific guides make it easy for the kids to identify the birds quickly, highly recommend.

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We do the Great Backyard Bird Count (http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/kids). The page has lots of resources including an online bird guide ( http://www.allaboutbirds.org/Page.aspx?pid=1189)


This page has a guide to what bird feed to use to attract what kind of bird (http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/learning/bird-feeding-tips/what-kind-of-bird-food-should-i-use/)


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