Weekend Science Fun: Count Some Birds

The 2010 Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up next weekend, February 12-15. This is a wonderful opportunity for children to participate in a science project where the data they collect really “counts.” 🙂image_preview

Even if you don’t know a house sparrow from a chickadee, the site has some good information about birds, checklists of birds found in your area, and instructions about data collecting. There is also a list of related backyard activities you can do. Best of all, it’s free!

Our family will be participating, because my son is an avid birder. He is also a bird photographer, so he may take part in the photo contest. Note:  photos must be taken during the count weekend.



Aren’t burrowing owls cute? (Now, why can’t I take photos like that? :-))

If you and your family take part in the bird count, we’d love to hear about your experiences.

For more information, try these books:


  1. Sandra Foyt

    We tried this with my son 2 years ago, but neither one of us had the patience, especially because all we saw were chickadees. Boring. But, I’d still recommend this program, and maybe we’ll try again when we’re a little more patient.

  2. Roberta


    I’m going to share an old family secret. My grandparents were avid birders, but couldn’t do a lot of walking, so they would gather up my sister and I in the car, and we’d all go on slow drives through the country looking for birds. The advantages were that my sister and I were used to sitting still in the car and thus were not likely to scare the birds with our movement. The birds were habituated to cars, so we got to see a lot. The only thing I do regret is we never learned bird songs that way.

    Although you can’t do this count from a moving car, you might try carrying the data sheet with, and if you get stuck waiting 15 minutes somewhere in the car, well you can always count birds 🙂

    Good luck!

  3. Karen

    Your son took those pictures? I love the last one, with the bird hiding behind the rock (bowl?)! He’s got a good eye!

  4. Roberta

    Yes, he did take them. He likes to use a telephoto lens, which is funny because I’m a macro shot person.

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