As the weather cools and the world gets buried in white winter, we begin to set up our patio bird feeders and wait for them to be discovered. Living in Eastern Canada, we tend to see blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches, grey jays, mourning doves and pileated, downy and hairy woodpeckers. With these new visitors beginning to come by each day, a study of birds was definitely in order!
Miss 7 noticed as the leaves fell off the trees in the fall, the birds’ abandon nests were more visible, we were even able to retrieve a few for a closer look.
This inspired more reading and activities based on the different types of nests that are built by our feathered friends. We were happy to once again to use our favourite resource, “Nature Anatomy” by Julia Rothman, to look up exactly how these nests differ.
We used some of our homemade play dough (See “DIY Playdough“), yarn, twigs and fluff to create birds’ nests. Our miniature birds were well used during this study, we love these guys and the fact that the names are on the bottom is a huge bonus!
Backyard Birds by Safari Ltd.
The leftover loose-parts went into a mini-play dough kit for another day. I found these cute bird buttons that work perfectly with this kit.
Sew Cute Bird Buttons by Dress it Up
We had pressed leaves earlier in the season and Miss 7 was inspired to create this beauty. Cutest little birds that I ever did see!
We also spent some time studying the different calls or songs that birds use and the girls tried to imitate them the best they could.
We loved pouring over the illustrations in “How to be a Wildflower” by Katie Daisy…
and this vintage Little Golden Book called simply “Birds” by Jane Werner Watson.
The girls next painted their favourite birds on these small canvases, Miss 7 on the left and Miss 4 on the right.
I prepared a bird seed sensory tray when we studied the birds’ feathers…from the rigid flight feathers to the soft inner down, feathers were meant to be touched and explored. We found ours while spending time in the forest and at a local petting zoo, but this set is equally beautiful.
Wild Feathers by Ldoux
Feathers Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart
As the weather turned colder and colder, we decided to study how birds adapt to survive the plummeting temperatures.
We also were moved to help them out by making a few special bird feeders for them to enjoy. We simply threaded cheerios onto pipe cleaners and formed them into various shapes. We then went out and placed them in the trees throughout our property. The girls were thrilled to see the birds enjoying their creations.
Backyard Birds by Robert Bateman
To “wrap” up our closer look at birds, we made yarn-wrapped blue jays, inspired by the ever-creative Rachel at “I Heart Crafty Things“, check out her instructions HERE. These turned out beautifully and we will definitely revisit this activity…possibly make cardinals next!
The girls added a blue jay to their nature journals with the help from this adorable, step-by-step drawing book.
Drawing Cute Birds in Colored Pencil by Ai Akikusa
The results are beautiful, Miss 4 on the left and Miss 7 on the right…I will treasure these ones.
Have you studied your backyard birds recently? What species do you see most often?
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