Bird Watching at Home With The Kids
Updated: May 19, 2020
Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands is one of the nation’s best areas for birding. Known as the Warbler Capital of the World, you’ll find not only warblers, but a huge variety of migrating bird species, especially now as they are beginning to head north and readying to cross Lake Erie. Bird watching is a hobby that you can do with your children year-round, particularly during the spring and fall months, and it’s easy to do. It’s an educational and healthy experience for children of all ages. Here are a few tips to get started:
Play by the rules - Be respectful of bird habitats; speak in a low voice and stay a distance away from nesting sites.
Get your ducks in a row - Every birdwatcher from beginner to professional needs a few supplies. Here’s a beginners list: binoculars, notebook, field guide.
Begin in the backyard - Encourage birds to visit your home by placing a birdbath or bird feeder in your yard. Let the kids be in charge of keeping your birds fed and watered.
Download a local bird checklist - Be aware of what you might see and to keep track of your sightings. Black Swamp Bird Observatory offers a Northwest Ohio Bird Checklist. If you’d like help from your phone, the Audubon app is also really helpful in identifying birds and super easy to use.
Branch out – Be sure to look for different bird species when walking around your neighborhood. If you’re going to branch out, be sure to maintain healthy social distancing and alert others you are near if you come across another person.
Plan now, but visit later. When restrictions are lifted, be sure to check out the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Birding Guide for information on all of our area’s best birding. For now, this is a great way to get outside and enjoy the spring migration from your own yard.
Be safe, and be sure to grab a camera to take photos of these beautiful birds and your unique finds!