Beguiled by Bird Seed

Beguiled by Bird Seed
It was an accident. While cruising through the grocery store, my eyes fell upon something unexpected: Bird Seed. Not just average bird seed, mind you---Wild Bird Seed. On further investigation, the package revealed it's promise to "attract many different types of colorful birds." I was compelled to buy this magical seed, by the sparkling promise that my backyard would become a veritable bird sanctuary.

I didn't have a feeder, so I poured the seed into a Pyrex dish, and placed it on our back patio, in view of our kitchen window. I promptly forgot about it as I pursued my daily chores. The next day, while we were engaged in our schoolwork, the kids noticed an American Robin perched on the rim of our makeshift "feeder." In the days following, the kids and I found ourselves suspending schoolwork, housework and even conversations whenever we noticed birds feeding there. Rather accidentally, I had ignited a fervent interest in bird watching.

Resources Found

Black-Capped Chickadee
In an effort to encourage this natural interest, I began searching for bird-watching information online. My quest revealed everything necessary to create a bird watching notebook, or lapbook, or collection of mini-books. Feel free to use the pages as they are, or cut them up and use only the drawings, glued to your own lined paper or observation pages. The structure for this notebook is yours to determine. No textbook needed. All that is necessary to create your family's own bird watching notebook is access to bird facts, printed pages (links provided here for both) and a binder.

Choose Where To Begin

Nifty Fifty Bird Guide
Cornell's Online Bird Guide database includes 584 North American bird species. That's a lot of birds. We started with the birds we saw in our backyard.

You could begin your Bird Watching Notebook with the birds of your state. Birdzilla.com offers free online
Nifty-Fifty Bird Guides, containing fifty of the most often observed species in each state. Guides include images, description, range maps and songs. When you are ready to begin, click on the book to go to Birdzilla's Nifty-Fifty Bird Guide page, then click on your state. The book will load in a few seconds.

Simple Notebook Layout

Simple Notebook Layout
Pictured here is one of our U.S. Geography Notebook pages. It's format is simple. On each page, there is a picture colored, cut and pasted with a paragraph of information glued under the picture.

For my younger children, I write the paragraph ahead of time, for them to use as copy work. If children simply need help summarizing the information into their own words we, make an outline together, then they rewrite the paragraph on their own. After I proofread the paragraph and corrections have been made, the paragraphs are cut out and glued down,
only after it has been proofread and approved by mom.

Lapbook & Minibook Elements

Lapbook Layout
Our Bird Watching Notebooks are much more artistic and each page of the notebook is in "lapbook format" with a collection of minibooks to open and explore. You could have a combination of the two, by beginning with some notebook pages, then adding minibook elements on later pages.

Links to Free Minibook Templates

Notebooking Pages.com:  Free Lapbooking, Mini-Books, & Cutouts for Notebooking.

Homeschool Share.com:
  A bountiful database of free Lapbook and Minibook templates.

Homeschool Helper Online:
  Free Homeschool Lapbook and Minibook templates.

Cornell's Feeder Birds Coloring Book

Cornell's Feeder Birds Coloring Book
The Feeder Birds Coloring Book is the best source for bird drawings. They are presented in high-resolution PDF format. Each page has a drawing of the subject bird, with a series of questions below.  Best of all, it's FREE!

Use the questions or clip the drawings out to enhance your our own creative pages.


If you click on the page, you will be redirected to Cornell's "Feeder Birds Coloring Book" page.


It is a good to save it on your computer. I found the book at HoustonAudubon.org, but it was originally offered on Cornell's site. A reorganization of their site rendered the link inactive, and I was compelled to search for it again.

Prepared Notebook Pages

Pre-Printed Notebook Page
Notebooking.com:
Their "Free Resources" include blank or lined pages, available with or without space for an image. Some available in "Primary" and "Regular" lined formats.

Jimmie's General Notebooking Pages Set
: Homeschooling mom, "Jimmie" has created some really beautiful noteboooking pages on a multitude of subjects, but this link will take you to her set of nineteen basic notebooking pages, with no text or graphics. Ready for you to fill with your journaling and birding pictures.

Bird Record Notebooking Pages
: Three window page from Homeschool with Index Cards.com

Cornell Lab of Ornithology Online

Cornell Lab of Ornithology Online
The most comprehensive online bird database is Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds.org When you go to the site, click on Bird Guide to search the bird database by Name and Shape or Taxonomy. When you find the bird you have chosen to research, you will be directed to that bird's page. In addition to typical bird information, bird videos and recordings of birdsong, you will find "Life History" which is a collection of Cool Facts, Habitat, Behavior, Food and Nesting details. So much great information!

Bird Information Links

Cornell's Online Bird Guide Cornell's bird database includes 584 of the more than 700 regularly occurring North American bird species.

Nifty-Fifty State Bird Guides Each guide contains 50 of the most often observed species for the selected state; including images, description, range maps and songs.

Friends Accross America American State Birds and Flowers Line drawings / Coloring pages

All-Birds.com Favorite Backyard Birds. Description, habitat, songs and calls, nesting, eggs, pictures and identification tips for each bird. . Tips about bird watching and attracting birds to your yard.

Birding USA.com State-based information for birders and those that feed birds in their back yard.
Modified Triangle Accordion Book

Line Drawings & Coloring Page Links

Cornell's Feeder Birds Coloring Book Cornell's PDF book of bird drawings. Now hosted by Houston Audubon.org

The Coloring Spot Bird Species Printable Coloring Pages & Clip Art. Five pages of bird drawings.

Coloring Birds Bird Themed Coloring Pages. Some are realistic, others are cartoon drawings.
Pop-Up Book
 


Comments

07/14/2010 12:04pm

Love your bird lapbook! Thanks for visiting my blog, come back anytime. I'll be adding more lapbook ideas.

02/12/2011 3:09pm

Getting ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count. I love the link to the Nifty Fifty birds guides. Those are wonderful! I love how there are 4 pics of each bird. Sometimes one pic just doesn't cut it. So wish I could print those, though.