This month we are celebrating the earth and the amazing plants and creatures out there! First up, birds! Once spring comes, there are bird...

'Birds Make Nests' - Read and Rise April 2021


This month we are celebrating the earth and the amazing plants and creatures out there! First up, birds! Once spring comes, there are birds in our yard tweeting and chirping and singing almost all day. We love watching them, identifying ones we're unfamiliar with, and trying to figure out which bird makes which call. Lil C especially loves it once the summer rolls around and we can see all the kid birds around the yard. Last year there were a bunch of kid robins and 3 kid cardinals that we'd always see together.

We were also excited to come across this little nest in a bush!

It seemed to belong to a sparrow but we were saddened to find the egg broken on the ground under the bush one day. Either some animal got to it or it was a dud and the mom tossed it out of the nest. All I know is this year we'll be on the lookout for more nests! Although, we have some REALLY tall trees so spotting nests isn't going to be the easiest thing!

Keep reading after today's story and activity to see some photos of our backyard birds!

Featured story: "Birds Make Nests" by Michael Garland

Activity: Collect some nesting materials to leave out for your neighborhood birds and then try to make your own bird nest!

We thought this would be very inviting for our backyard birds! We put out some birdseed to attract them to the area and then tossed weeds, grass, twigs, paper scraps, yarn, cotton balls (Lil C thought it would help make the inside of the nest soft and cozy), and hair (Lil C has never been so excited to brush her hair!). Unfortunately, we haven't seen any birds visit the area!

That's the way science works though! Best laid plans can often fail! We hypothesized several reasons our plan didn't work - maybe the birds thought it was too out in the open and they didn't trust it or maybe a lot of the birds we have aren't interested in those kinds of seeds or maybe there's enough food right now that they're not extra hungry or maybe they've already built their nests! Whatever the reason, it was worth a try and it's worth a try for you too - who knows, maybe your birds will love your setup!

As an extra challenge, you can set out many of the same materials with some wooden or plastic eggs and challenge your children to make a bird nest of their own! For more detailed instructions, check out my Build a Nest STEM Activity.

Now, here are some of our favorite backyard birds!

Female ruby-thoated hummingbird (she LOVES our bee balm and it took me so many tries to get close enough to get a decent picture!)

Northern flicker

Downy woodpecker (who made me paranoid that we had termites or something living in the house!!)

This sweet little robin just wanted some string for her nest! Unfortunately it was all tied and stapled down to make the grid in our square foot garden!

Happy bird watching everyone!