Part of being a good environmental steward is passing on this wisdom to the next generation. Here are three hands-on ways parents and grandparents can teach children to protect the birds in their very own backyard.
Build a Bird Feeder
Build bird feeders using natural or recycled materials to teach two earth-friendly lessons in one: the importance of reducing waste and the need to take care of local wildlife. Bird feeders can be crafted from milk cartons, tin cans, mason jars or even natural materials like pinecones. As you decorate your bird feeders, talk to your kids about how birds are not just beautiful, but also a vital part of the ecosystem and how you are offering these creatures a chance to rest and refuel. Fill your finished products with birdseed and choose a safe spot to hang them. Experts recommend bird feeders be positioned either closer than three feet or farther than 30 feet from windows.
Birds in flight are prone to strike windows. Fortunately, there’s an easy home project you and your children can complete together that will help prevent this from happening. Applying decals that reflect ultraviolet sunlight to your home’s windows, particularly windows that are highly reflective of open sky, has been proven to substantially reduce the likelihood of bird strikes. Those from WindowAlert feature patterns that give the appearance of slightly frosted translucent glass, but glow like a stoplight for birds. Kids can help select from fun decal designs like snowflakes, butterflies and maple leaves. The brand also makes a high-tech UV liquid that offers even greater protection when applied between decals. To learn more, visit WindowAlert.com.
Keep a Log
Now that you’ve invited birds to your yard and have taken steps to protect them, inspire young naturalists to keep a log of flying visitors. Kids can draw pictures of the birds they see and note their observations. Visit Audubon for Kids at audubon.org for a birding guide, activities, games and additional projects that can help kids learn to identify various bird species by sight and sound.
“Environmental stewardship starts in your own backyard and people of all ages can get involved, including kids,” says Spencer Schock, founder of WindowAlert. “The good news is that turning your home into a refuge for birds is fun, easy, and something parents, grandparents and kids can work on together.”