Christmas Bird Count for Kids!
Join us for a morning of activities designed to increase appreciation for citizen science and outdoor fun! Participate in a Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4Kids).
What is CBC4Kids?
The Christmas Bird Count for Kids is a fun winter birdwatching event for kids and families. Learn about birds, connect with nature, and become a Citizen Scientist! Explore at home or Wye Marsh to begin a lifelong appreciation for wildlife and our environment.
CBC4Kids is a nationwide event coordinated locally by naturalist groups such as Wye Marsh throughout December and January.
Where: Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre
When: 10:30am- 1pm on January 7, 2023
How much: Included with admission. Children (12yrs and under) free of charge and must be accompanied by an adult.
What to Bring:
- Dress for the weather!
- Any bird guides or binoculars you own (we will have some to borrow if you don't).
- You can download ebird or iNaturalist apps in advance if you would like to learn more on how to use them.
- A mug for a warm drink.
- A smile and enthusiam to learn about our beautiful winter wild life!
We will meet in the Wye Marsh Visitors Centre for an introduction and brief lesson on the joys of birding, Citizen science and the tools of the trade.
Based on skill level we will then hike and explore birds and birding, followed by a gathering around the fire where participants will be given the opportunity to close the circle over a hot drink and snack. Please bring your own mug.
Can't make it in person this year. No problem!
How to participate in CBC4Kids @ Home:
- Christmas Bird Counts for Kids are recorded on a special tally sheet - where you keep a list of each species you spot, and tally how many birds of each species you see.
- After you've recorded your data, you can click here to submit it online to Birds Canada to help biologists learn more about the health of bird populations.
Birding Tool Kit:
- Dress in layers to stay the perfect temperature while adventuring
- Something to help you identify the birds you find: an app, a field guide, or print off this list: Click here for a list of birds you might see in Simcoe County
- Binoculars or something to make the birds easier to see (no need for anything fancy)
- Tally sheet and pencil or you can submit directly through the app
- A smile and a sense of adventure
- Be patient, birds can be illusive.
- Learn different ways to ID birds - like by their sound, size, and shape. Check out this guide!
- Try and keep quiet because birds can easily be scared away- sometimes you will hear the birds before you see them. Listen for the birds' songs and all of the sounds of nature.
- Try using the shape of the bird rather than the colour to identify, especially when the lighting isn’t perfect
- See if you can learn some bird songs, you often hear them before you see them
- Different birds will live in different habitats - some like forests, some like marshes, some like open fields. Think about what type of birds live in the habitat you are in.
- Look for some of the signs that birds leave behind like woodpecker holes in trees or nests.
- Try staying still and wait to see what movement happens around you - do the birds fly from tree to tree?
- If you would like to attract birds to your own yard, consider a bird seed or suet feeder.
- Have fun!
Learn more about the Christmas Bird Count:
More birding activities for young citizen scientists:
- Wye Marsh At Home Activities - Birding Bingo!
Click here for a game of bingo - birding style! Check squares for birds you spot and finding the signs they leave behind.
- Wye Marsh At Home Activities - Birding ID Colouring Sheets
Click here for colouring sheets of some local bird species. Practice your ID skills by filling in their plumage!
- The Cornell Bird Academy Games!
Click here to check out some awesome games powered by birds from Cornell Lab. Play games that explore flight, song, dance, feathers, and so much more.
- The Cornell Bird Academy - Explorer's Guidebook
This guidebook will take you on a habitat scavenger hunt, help you create a sound map, and test your bird ID!
- Wye Marsh At Home Activities - Bird Feeder Garland
Click to make some easy, eco-friendly garland to decorate your backyard for the holidays and help feed the birds this winter!
- Wye Marsh At Home Activities - Pine Cone Suet Feeder
Click here to make an easy, eco-friendly suet feeder for your yard!
- Wye Marsh At Home Activities - Know Your Migratory Birds!
Click here for a migratoy bird quiz - how well do you know your migratory birds? Match the bird silhouette with the species name, and then the fact! Can you get 100%?
- Wye Marsh At Home Activities - Make a Bird Mask
Click here to learn to make a mask of your favourite bird. Who is your favourite bird? A craft Pileated Woodpecker? A mysterious owl? A bright red cardinal?
- Bird Studies Canada: How to Sketch Birds
Click here to learn to sketch the birds you see. For the budding artist and naturalist with an interest in our feathered friends!