• Tricia Edgar

Bonding With Birds

Being outside is healthy for body and spirit. During these challenging times, we'll be posting a daily activity idea that you and your children can do outdoors.

Today, head outside to enjoy listening to the sounds of the birds! They are starting to return from warmer places.

Some of the birds I hear in my area are:

Varied Thrush

Steller's Jay (people often call these blue jays)

American Robin

Northern Flicker

Black-Capped Chickadee

Soon, we will hear the Rufous Hummingbirds come back - they make fierce little squeaking noises and buzz as they move through the air.

You may have different birds in your area, depending on what part of the city you live in. No matter where you live, the All About Birds website that I linked to above is an outstanding resource for bird sounds, behaviour, and life cycles.

You'll notice that birds make different noises. Birds have a language all of their own. Some birds are able to understand each others' alarm calls. That way, they can communicate when something dangerous is happening. Listen to the song of each bird (used for mating) and the calls (used for other communication). Then go outside. Can you tell what the birds are saying? Are they calling or singing?

One activity that I enjoy doing with children is a sound map. This is very simple. Go outside with a piece of paper, pencil, and clipboard (a plastic lid works well as a board too). Place an "X" in the middle of the paper. For 30 seconds, a minute, or however long your children can focus, listen to the sounds around you and draw what you hear. Art is not my strong point, so I draw the movement of the sound rather than drawing a picture of the bird. Compare notes. What happened in that time period?

If you have very young children, just hold hands and have them close their eyes for 10, 30, 60 seconds and listen around you. Point to the quietest nature sound you can hear or the loudest nature sound you can hear.

Until tomorrow,



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