urban bird watching adventures :: mr. bullfinch & a free printable

it is now spring of 2017 and the bullfinch couple along with many other bird friends are still visiting our feeder. i thought it might be fun to "revive" this post and give you a chance to download our simple, but fun backyard bird log. as my kids have grown we can add actual notes to the log, it's the perfect basis for our (sub)urban birdwatching adventures. 

already when we were living in our third floor apartment in the heart of the city, and also now as we have retreated to a more suburban (but still densely populated) area, looking out for birds, feeding them and identifying them has become part of our everday life. we are joined every morning by chickadees, blue tits, (eurasian) blackbirds, sparrows and bullfinches. occasionally, (eurasian) jay birds and hedge warblers pay us a visit, too! i love how my kids (yes, even my 2-year-old!) don't just call out "bird" whenever they see one, but actually refer to the proper names of the birds when they spot them, sometimes also lovingly calling them "frau meise" (mrs chickadee) and "herr gimpel" (mr. bullfinch).

identifying birds
of course, we like to use books to learn how to identify local birds that we see. in case we are not sure about what kind of a bird it is, and especially when we are out and about, we love the app published by the german nature conservation society NABU. you can easily choose different features and characteristics that you noticed (size, color of feathers, size and color of beak and legs etc.) and it shows you a list of possible birds along with information about its habitat and behavior. i'm sure similar apps are available for your local birds, we just searched for "bird identifcation" in the app store.

the backyard bird log

for now, as they are only 4 and 2 years old respectively, i was thinking about a possibility to go a step further than simply watching the birds. i'd love for our birdwatching to have just a bit of a scientific approach. so i created a backyard bird counting sheet that is now by our main window, with a pencil ready to take note of any bird that we spot in our yard. if you have young children that you would like to go a step further in their bird watching endeavours, you can download the free printable and customize it according to your local birds. it can be used within a day or a week. you can use one sheet per kind of bird, or count all birds on one sheet. and feel free to add any other "activities" as well.

click here to download the backyard bird log.

future birdwatching activities
i would love to make a little book with pictures of and stories about the birds visiting us every day, which is why we always have the camera ready on the window sill for taking photos. and i can't wait for the day when my kids are old enough to draw the birds they spot. oh, the possibilities for craft projects and sharing stories are endless!

do share, which birds visit you where you live and how do you attract birds to your yards and porches? we'd love to hear from you!


Alessa said...

Viele liebe Grüße von Alessa ♥

Kim said...

We love birds and are avid backyard birders. Currently in the yard are robins, gold finches, chipping sparrows, eastern towhee, morning doves, red breasted nuthatches, blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, rose breasted grosbeak, eastern phoebe (currently nesting) and the best of all, last night our first indigo bunting of the season. It was pretty special.

We attract them with feeders, but we do have forest surrounding our property so lots of great habitat for them too.

Thanks for the printable.

Danielle Quarmby said...

This is really lovely. It could be a fun project for us here too, I am sometimes sad that the kids take for granted the gorgeous birdlife we have around our place. It would be a sort of grateful take on it to record and appreciate our little visitors!
We usually get rosellas, kookaburras, magpies and cockatoos, with the occasional tawny frog mouth, currawong, king parrot or black cockatoo :)

simona said...

We have a bird bath and hummingbird feeder that are the talk of bird-town so they all come and hang out by us :) There is one new bird I just spotted that I still need to figure out what it's name is.

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