Bird watching is fast becoming a popular pastime among the younger generation. With a renewed focus on conservation of our wildlife and not burning through our natural resources, it gives one hope for a healthy future. Bird watching is an extension of this as more kids and teens take on the hobby of enjoying and respecting these wonderful creatures. Bird watching is a great hobby and can be done with very minimal equipment. Here are five items you really need to get the most out of your bird watching fun with kids:
What You Need for Bird Watching with Kids
Quality Bird Feeders
While you certainly don’t have to sit at home to go bird watching, it is nice to have them come to you on occasion. Nothing is more exciting than seeing a new species show up outside your window. Hanging quality bird feeders around your home is a wonderful way to keep them hanging around and to get your kids interested in birding. As a child, a bird feeder outside the window is a wonderful gift.
Anyone that is interested in birding will want to have a decent pair of binoculars. This is especially so for an adventurous kid that likes to feel like they are on safari. You can find these in all shapes and sizes and they are relatively inexpensive compared to what they were years ago. Here are children’s binoculars that we have used with our children. Kids absolutely love being able to zoom in close.
You might use your smartphone or video camera, but a good digital camera is really needed for great pics. Teach your child the basics of photography and you can enjoy two new hobbies all at once.
A notebook for recording behavior and activity
As you find various species and so on, it is fun to record when and where they show up. Over time, you will begin to notice a pattern with many birds and you may even notice the same visitors on a daily or weekly basis. Some people even name the birds that show up with regularity and they become pets of a sort. This is a wonderful learning opportunity for the kids and for you as well.
Book on birds specifically in that region
Field guides are absolutely a must for the kids and it opens up a world of exploration. Over time they will try to find the most elusive birds and get a very special thrill when they come across one. Let your kid learn about the birds that should be in the area and then you can get excited together when a rare one crosses your paths. Bird watching can be quite exciting once you learn a bit about the area you are in. Once that area becomes well researched, you can then move on to other areas of the country or world. It is different in each place.