About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Something fun to do with the kids this summer

It’s been a very long, hot summer so far. Parents and grandparents may be looking for something to do with their little ones over summer break.

Aside from trips to the library, museums, theater and pool, it can be difficult to find interesting activities to keep kids entertained. Now might be the time to introduce them to the birds!

Feeding birds can be entertaining as well as educational. Begin by trying to identify the birds in your yard. Help kids look through a birding book. We have one popular Birds of Michigan field guide that is easy for beginning bird watchers. It is organized by the color of the bird. Simply remember the color of the bird and turn to that section to see the choices.

To get a closer look at the birds set up a window feeder or choose a simple feeder that’s easy to fill and clean. Birds don’t like to eat from dirty plates. It’s important to teach kids that a clean feeder helps keep the birds healthy. Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing also has the freshest seed that is blended to attract the widest variety of birds.

You could also set up a water bath. Baths not only provide clean water to quench thirst, baths also help birds maintain their feathers. A good part of a bird's day is spent just cleaning and grooming their feathers by bathing, scratching, and preening. It’s so important that it is often the first place parent birds bring their newly fledged babies.
   
Or take the Olympic Games Challenge
Birds vs. Humans

Birds have many special adaptations to help them live their lives. Some birds can fly long distances; some can dive deep into the ocean while others can run really fast.

How would you match up with birds in an Olympic Games challenge? Compare your best to the best that birds have to offer in the following categories:

1. WINGSPAN
A White Pelican has a wingspan of 8-9 feet, a Bald Eagle has a wingspan of 6-7 feet!
• I have a wingspan* of ____feet ____inches.
*Stretch your arms as wide apart as possible and have someone measure distance between the tip of your longest finger on each hand.

2. WINGBEATS
In 10 seconds, a hummingbird beats its wings 700 times!
• I can flap my wings (arms) _________ times in 10 seconds.

3. CONCENTRATION
An owl can stare for hours while hunting for prey!
• I can stare for _______minutes without blinking.

4. HOLDING BREATH
A cormorant dives deep in search of fish. It can hold its breath for about 15 minutes (900 seconds).
• I can hold my breath for _______seconds.

5. WEIGHT
At over 40 pounds, the Trumpeter Swan is North America's heaviest bird! The Australian Ostrich weighs in at over 250 pounds!
• I weigh _______pounds.

6. HEIGHT
The Australian Ostrich is almost 9’ tall!
• I am _______tall.

7. SPEED
A Greater Roadrunner can run at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour!
I can run ______ miles/hour. (use the chart below to determine your speed)

Run 60 feet and check calculations.
Finish time     
3.0 secs = 13.6 Miles/hour
4.0 secs = 10.2 Miles/hour
5.0 secs = 8.2 Miles/hour
6.0 secs = 6.8 Miles/hour
7.0 secs = 5.8 Miles/hour
8.0 secs = 5.1 Miles/hour

For more activities for kids go to:

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