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.
These birds are put into cloth bags and hung by the corresponding number of the net where they were caught.
Then, each bird is taken out to do the following:
- tag (if not tagged already)
- weigh and measure
Look how the little guys are weighted. (Photo below.)
Wings are measured like this:
What kind of bird is this? (I can’t remember!)
My kids recorded all this information for the staff member.
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.
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.
More 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
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!
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.
Bird Builds a Nest by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Richard Jones
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.
Books About Endangered Species