Our final g2g Outside event is upon us! You have the opportunity to do some bird watching in the Jungle Building at the Sedgwick County Zoo! Here are the details:

When: Saturday, December 14th from 3:30 pm – 5 pm.

Where: Sedgwick County Zoo Jungle Building

Meet At: I will post that information as soon as I have it, but typically we meet at the Cargill Learning Center and you MUST be on time!

RSVP is required and there is a limit of 25 people. Call 316-266-8213 to RSVP.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to identify at least 3 of the birds in your backyard or neighborhood.

Winter is a great time to look for birds because they will be out looking for food. If you provide some bird seed in a birdfeeder that you can observe from the window, you will see lots of beautiful birds! But what kind of birds are they?

When you get ready to try to identify a bird that you see in your yard, you should get a good look at it first, before you start using a book or the internet to figure out what it is.

Here are some important things you should look for:

  • Size of the bird
  • Size and shape of the beak
  • Size and shape of the head
  • Body and tail shape of the bird
  • Color: overall color, any stripes or spots, color of beaks or legs, any other color you notice
  • Behavior of the bird (how it walks, flies, sings, or eats)

Sometimes it is easy to identify a bird just using the color, but it isn’t always possible. Practice looking very closely at the birds in your backyard to notice small details. Once you have several things you know about the bird, it is time to look at a guide book. You can find field guides for birds at the public library. There are also some good websites.

Whatbird.com

Visual Key for Bird ID

All About Birds

Mission Report:

1. What are the 3 different birds you identified in your backyard? Did you see both male and female birds of each type?

2. What features of the birds helped you identify them?

3. Take a picture of your favorite bird and share it with us!

Your Mission, should you choose to accept it, is to feed and observe song birds in your backyard.

The winter is a great time for bird watching! 51.3 million Americans birdwatch. So this month g2g Outside is going to join in the fun!

The mission for this week is to throw out some bird seed in the back or front yard, near a window where it’s easy for you and your children to watch the birds that come to feast.

What seeds do you throw out? Sunflower seeds attract the most variety of birds (jays, finches, nuthatches, etc). Safflower seeds are also great. Millet and corn work well too. You can find bird seed mixes at the store that have all of these.

If you don’t have a bird feeder, just scatter the seeds on the ground or on a tray on a porch railing and see who comes to eat. It’s lots of fun for kids to see which birds visit the backyard, and then go to a bird ID book or website to discover the name of the bird they saw. Check out this online bird guide.

Mission Report:  1)  How many birds came and ate your bird seed?  2)  Can you name any of the birds you saw?  3)  Draw or take a picture of the birds you saw eating in your backyard.

For more information on bird watching join me at Wichita Tractor Supply East, at 11am on January 22 for an hour bird feeding and watching seminar.  This is geared towards adults, but older children who are interested in birds will enjoy it.  I will include hints on how to encourage young people to start bird watching.