How Birding (and Bird Banding) Connect Kids to Nature

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Our latest bird activity, bird banding was more up close and hands-on than other activities we’ve done. It was a fabulous way to get outside and excited about nature, specifically about birds.

Bird Banding Connect Kids To Nature

To band a bird, for educational and/or research purposes, staff and volunteers at bird and nature centers catch birds in mesh nets like the ones below.

Easy Way to Connect Kids with Nature: Bird Banding

These birds are put into cloth bags and hung by the corresponding number of the net where they were caught.

Easy Way to Connect Kids To Nature: Bird Banding

Then, each bird is taken out to do the following:

  • identify
  • tag (if not tagged already)
  • weigh and measure

Easy Way to Connect Kids To Nature: Bird Banding

Look how the little guys are weighted. (Photo below.)

Easy Way to Connect with Nature: Bird Banding

Wings are measured like this:

Easy Way to Connect Kids To Nature: Bird Banding

What kind of bird is this? (I can’t remember!)

Easy Way to Connect with Nature: Bird Banding

My kids recorded all this information for the staff member.

Easy Way to Connect Kids To Nature: Bird Banding

Once each bird is done, the birds are laid gently in someone’s hands. They usually fly off within a few seconds. It’s a weird sensation.

Easy Way to Connect with Nature: Bird Banding

We did all this at our local Bird Conservancy of the Rockies near the Audubon Center at Chatfield.

To find your local birding center, try searching bird banding with your state or zip code.

FREE bird coloring page fun bird activities for kidsMore Fun Bird Activities for Kids

build a birdbath
build a bird feeder
watch birds out your window with binoculars (and a good bird identification book)
Great Backyard Bird Count
go on a bird-watching hike
learn more about birds with books
bird coloring page (click to open)
read bird books

Favorite Bird Books

best children's books about birds for kids
I Spy in the Sky
 by Edward Gibbs
Peek at the brightly colored eye area of a bird. It’s purple, has small wings, and likes to drink nectar. It’s a hummingbird! From hummingbirds to pelicans, what will you spy with your little eye? Gorgeous!

best children's books about birds for kids
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Birds
 by Catherine D. Hughes
Gorgeous full-color photographs introduce kids to the world of birds from backyard favorites to forest and desert birds around the world. Learn about bird behaviors, sizes, diets, homes, and more.

Beautiful Bird Books for Kids  
Bird Builds a Nest
 by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Richard Jones
This picture book explains how a bird collects sticks to build a nest, then lays her eggs. It’s simple yet informative. Illustrated in muted earth tones.
Beautiful Bird Books for Kids  
The Little Book of Backyard Bird Songs
 by Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham
Don’t you love it in spring when you can start to hear birds’ unique songs again? This book shares 12 bird songs including a house wren, blue jay, robin, and mourning dove.
bird banding with kids

Also Read: 

Books About Endangered Species

Good Bug Books for Kids

Children’s Books About Animals
children's books about animals

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    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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