STEAM@Home: Backyard Birding

By Cambridge Public Library and Cambridge STEAM Initiative

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!

girl birder
This is an ongoing program.

Ages 4 to Senior Adult.

Grades Preschool through 12th grade.


Barb MacEachern
Program Quality Manager, Cambridge STEAM Initiative

No application or registration needed.


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).

Additional information

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:

Sketch pad

Colored pencils





For an excursion remember:

Bug Spray

Long Socks & Pants


Water Bottle


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:
  • 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
  • Websites:

    Mass Audubon  

    National Audubon 

    All About Birds

    BirdSleuth K-12 

  • 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: 

    Birding Basics & Beyond: How to Get on the Bird 

    Birding Basics & Beyond: How to Use a Field Guide 

More hands on activities and learning opportunities:

More STEAM@Home suggestions! 

Last updated ઓક્ટોબર 24, 2020.

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