Monday, 27 January 2014

February 14- 17, 2014 Take 
 Part in the 2014 World Wide Great Backyard Bird Count!

Here is your birding badge upon completion of this quest:

The Spark:
It all begins on February 14- 17, 2014.  It's the Great Backyard Bird Count!  It's time to make your contribution to nature by becoming a citizen scientist. The best part of it is that it is so easy to do, inexpensive, educational, it's a great outdoor/ indoor activity, and it's environmentally friendly.  It has turned into one of our great passions and a newfound hobby.  Familiarize yourself with birds, brush up on your birding skills and submit your bird checklist.  Since we certified our outdoor space as a wildlife habitat, we have become increasingly conscious of our fine feathered and furry friends that share our natural green spaces throughout our neighbourhood and beyond. 

A Bunch of Hunches, Queries, Interests and Questions:

Can we make a list of how many different kinds of food that birds eat?

What do they eat from plants and trees?

How many different kinds of birds live in our neighbourhood?

What are their names?

I have a hunch that the birds know we are here and that we feed them.

I have a hunch that if I build a bird house then more birds will live beside my house.

Where do I have to go to see the most birds?  Do I need to go on a hill, climb a tall ladder or a tree, do I need to hide?

Where are all the birds at night time?

Can I plant flowers for my birds?

I have a hunch that I can have these birds as my pets forever.

Start Your Quest:

1.  What is birding?
Birding is becoming one of the most popular outdoor hobbies in the world.  Birding is easy for all ages to enjoy.  You can learn about different birds, classification, feed preferences, migration, landscaping for bird, geography and photography.   

2.  Safety:
Before you begin birding please make sure you purchase window decals in order to safeguard against birds flying into your windows as they come in for a landing on your feeders.  Also, please ensure that you do some research on animals that prey on birds.  Luring large numbers of birds to feeders makes it easy for predators to hunt.  Place your feeders accordingly.  

3.  Woodworking:
Birding can enhance your enjoyment of woodworking crafts.  You can make a bird house, a feeder or a nesting box.  

4.  Photography:
Many birders love photographing the birds they see.  You can make a neighbourhood bird book with the photos that you take.  Brush up on your bird pics and photo techniques.  

5.  Hike or snowshoe outdoors:
Birding fosters a love of the outdoors.  Strap on some snowshoes or fasten on some hiking boots and take to the outdoors to try and spot as many birds as you can.

6.  What will you need?
good eyesight
a simple field guide
binoculars (optional)
camera (optional)
some knowledge on feeders and what to safely feed birds

7.  Be environmentally friendly:
Because birding is mainly observation, it has a very low impact on the local environment.  Eliminate chemical pesticides and fertilizers on lawns.  Add plants to your green space that attract birds.  Help to establish bird habitats by providing shelter, a place to establish nests, water, and food.  

8. Pets:
Wild birds are amazing "PETS."  They can be enjoyed in their own habitat, your neighbourhood, without capturing and caging them... and that's the way it should be!!

9.  Here is how to take part in the GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT:


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