While kids can certainly enjoy watching birds from a distance, it’s tons more fun to bring them closer for a better look. Binoculars are a great way to cut the distance, and there are bird feeders that do a super job of bringing birds up close and personal. Spring and summer are great times to teach kids basic birdwatching skills, because most birds are active building nests and tending to babies. But fall and winter are superb times, as well, as migrations fill the skies with ducks, geese, and hawks–larger birds that smaller children can easily see.
Up Close and Personal
These hand-sized binoculars have a powerful 12x magnification. Occer
Kids are fascinated with binoculars, but they can get easily frustrated when an adult hands over a pair of large, bulky, hard to hold and hard to focus full-sized binoculars. Youth models are smaller for smaller hands, with appropriately sized knobs for focusing. Their lighter weight will help children hold them steady enough to pick out the white rings around a vireo’s eyes or the jaunty crest on a wood duck’s noggin.
This feeder has pre-drilled holes to drain away rain and keep bird seed fresh. Nature’s Hangout
Nothing excites kids more than luring in backyard birds so close they can almost touch them. There are lots of bird feeders designed to bring birds close to windows for great viewing. Hummingbird feeders that hang just outside the windows can be a riot as the tiny daredevils zip in and out. Bird feeders that attach to glass windows with suction cups can bring birds in just inches away. You’ll get to watch birds eat and preen, chase each other around the yard, then zoom in to land and feast, and you won’t even need binoculars.
Music to Your Ears
This amazing book can help anyone identify dozens of wild bird species. National Geographic
Learning to identify birds is one of the most fun ways to get kids active in nature. It’s best to start with common birds that kids see often—backyard species such as robins, cardinals, and woodpeckers. Soon your kids will amaze their friends with their ability to ID birds by its distinctive markings.