Hi.

home/school/life is the secular homeschool magazine for families who learn together.

Citizen Science Project #2: The Great Backyard Bird Count

What a great idea: Citizen science projects that give kids the opportunity to participate in real, ongoing scientific research. #homeschool

I did it! Not only have I made progress in my resolution to do more citizen science projects this year, I participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) – a project I have been wanting to do for several years! This year it took place February 12-15, but don’t worry if you missed it. It’s an annual event, so you can do it next year!

I was extra motivated this year because my six-year-old is enamored with birds, and when I say enamored, I mean he not only loves real birds, he plays with toy birds and tweets and chirps almost all day long! So I could not not participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, and on more than one day, my six-year-old helped me watch out for birds.

Last year, however, I tried to participate, and I’m not kidding when I say THERE WERE NO BIRDS IN OUR YARD ALL WEEKEND! I looked out our windows several times, and to my disappointment, I didn’t see one bird (except maybe for a crow). Usually we have many songbirds visiting our wooded yard, but that weekend was very cold, so it was unusually quiet on the “bird byways.”

This year was similar, actually. I can only hypothesize that it was because of the cold weather. I never saw the yellow-bellied sapsucker that frequently visits a tree in our backyard, or the cardinals, or the golden-crowned kinglets, or the occasional pine warbler. (Maybe all those people putting out bird feeders for the GBBC stole our birds away?!) But I did see enough birds to make a count.

Signing up for the GBBC is very easy and quick. It only took me about five minutes to submit a checklist, and I could make checklists for those times when I sat at my window for the purpose of bird watching, or I could submit one for when I happened to notice two Canadian geese while driving home from the store.

So here are the birds I had the pleasure of seeing that weekend in our yard. When I put it all together, it’s certainly not a flimsy list!

  • Red-bellied Woodpecker 
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • American Crow
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Carolina Wren
  • American Robin
  • House Finch

Did you participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count? What did you have the luck of finding?


The Pleasures of Spring Homeschooling

The Pleasures of Spring Homeschooling

Monday Pep Talk No. 30

Monday Pep Talk No. 30