STEAM@Home: Backyard Birding
Explore local birds in their natural habitat either in your own neighborhood or further afield. Identify the birds you see. Keep track of your findings on paper or in a sketchbook!
This is an ongoing program.
Ages 4 to Senior Adult.
Grades Preschool through 12th grade.
Program Quality Manager, Cambridge STEAM Initiative
No application or registration needed.
- Sign-up is ongoing
Contact us for more information.
The program serves people at their homes or wherever it is needed or online.
- Only virtual (online or over the phone).
Explore local birds in their natural habitat either in your own neighborhood or further afield. Identify the birds you see. Keep track of your findings on paper or in a sketchbook with drawings and descriptions.
Not necessary but nice additions:
For an excursion remember:
Long Socks & Pants
This activity supports the practice of these STEAM Habits of Mind: Develop craft, engage & persist, observe, reflect, stretch & explore.
Tips for Supporting Your Children's Learning
Get your child actively involved in their own learning and having their questions drive the learning. Let them observe and figure out, and try to hold back from answering questions for them. Instead, try to ask: What do we know? What else can we find out? How might we figure that out? Don't be afraid to ask your child questions. Also, don't be afraid to say "I don't know--let's find out together!" as a way to respond to their questions. Here's an article to help you support this kind of learning: Of the Value of Saying I Don’t Know
Want to learn more about backyard birding?
- Local Birding:
- Fresh Pond Reservation: 180-220 Fresh Pond Pkwy, (617) 349-6489
- Mount Auburn Cemetery: 580 Mt Auburn St., (617) 547-7105
- Alewife Brook Reservation: Alewife Station Access Rd., (617) 727-9693
- Mass Audubon’s Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary: 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont, MA (617) 489-5050
- Locate a birdwatching hotspot: birdwatchingdaily.com/hotspots
- Digital Books: (available free on Hoopla with a Cambridge Public Library card)
- The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton W. Burgess
- Birding is My Favorite Video Game by Rosemary Mosco
- Audobon Birding Adventures for Kids by Elissa Wolfson
- NPR Sound Treks: Birds by Jon Hamilton
- Print Books (curbside pick-up is available now):
- A Beginner's Guide to Recognizing Trees of the Northeast by Mark Mikolas
- Sibley's Backyard Birds of the Northeast by David Allen Sibley
- The Young Birder's Guide to the Birds of North America by Bill Thompon III
- Beginner's Guide to Birds: Eastern Region by Donald & Lillian Stokes
- Birds and Birding at Mount Auburn Cemetery by Christopher Leahy
Free Apps for iOS & Android:
Peterson Birds of North America
Audubon Birds of North America
BirdsEye Bird Finding Guide
Videos on the Basics of Birding:
More hands on activities and learning opportunities:
- Audobon Adventures: Design & Build a Recycled Birdfeeder
Cambridge Public Schools Virtual Enrichment Recommendations
- Farrington Nature Linc: Simple Pinecone Birdfeeder
- Mass Audobon: Bird Bingo
Science Club for Girls at Home Recommendations
SciGirls, PBS Kids: Bird is the Word (Spanish & English)
More STEAM@Home suggestions!