Every morning as I take my dog outside for her morning walk I observe the birds around our farm. Lately I've taken the binoculars so I can identify a few more. I seriously began trying to learn bird identification when I started my second career with the state conservation agency 11 years ago. I started by going with experienced birders, early mornings. It's great to be outside with people who can share their knowledge. I've learned to identify some birds by their call, or a particular behavior pattern. I've shared what I've learned with beginning birders, hopefully I've encouraged them to try it on their own. I've enjoyed birding with beginners and experienced birders.
I've shared with teachers how to use bird field guides to teach students how to read nonfiction text, or how to teach students to become citizen scientists as they observe birds and record data about their observations. Birds are a great topic to engage students.
The Cape Girardeau Nature Center has a year long program to encourage birding. I'm planning to join in the challenge. If you are interested, you can read about it here
It might remind you of the book and movie, "The Big Year". Check out the movie here
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