Introduction: Welcome to the Chatham-Kent’s Children Christmas Bird Count a 12 Day Adventure! This enchanting experience promises not only joy during the post-holiday season but also a unique opportunity for your children to discover the wonders of birdwatching. Follow this guide to make the Children’s Christmas Bird Count an adventure of a lifetime.
Binoculars for long-distance viewing
Camera (optional) for capturing and sharing your discoveries visually.
Bird identification guide or app
Notebook or our downloadable journal and pencil
Warm clothing and comfortable shoes
Snacks and water
Guide for an Extraordinary Avian Adventure with Your Children.
Choose a Location: Choose comfortable spots such as a nearby park, garden, or even your backyard to kick off this 12-day family birdwatching adventure. If the family is feeling adventurous, explore various locations within Chatham-Kent throughout the 12 days. On cooler days or during cozy indoor moments, you can still observe and count birds from the comfort of your home by looking through the window. Consider setting up a feeder or two to attract them to your yard.
Learn the Basics: Consider acquainting yourselves with the common birds in the Chatham-Kent area by accessing our link to a guide featuring basic information. Additionally, explore bird identification websites and apps. Do not forget to check bird guides available at your local library, as they can offer more comprehensive insights to enrich your and your child’s understanding of the feathered friends you encounter.
Set a Date and Time: Kickstart the bird count on December 26th and continue for 12 consecutive days. Commence each day by observing and identifying the birds around you. Encourage your children to take turns using binoculars and noting down the birds they spot.
Gather Your Gear: Ensure you gather all necessary equipment before heading out, including items like binoculars, a bird identification guide or app, appropriate clothing for outdoor activities, and a notebook or journal to record your observations. To enhance the experience, consider downloading our bird count journal, offering a convenient way for kids to track their birdwatching progress daily.
Bird Identification Facebook Group: You may consider joining the Birds of Chatham-Kent Facebook group to get help in identifying the birds your family have observed. It is a wonderful place to share your pictures, ask questions, and connect with a community of fellow bird enthusiasts.
Record Observations: Utilize the downloadable journal or a notebook to craft a straightforward chart featuring columns for bird species, the number of individuals, and any interesting behaviors observed. At the conclusion of each day, consolidate the recorded observations into a simple report, encompassing the total number of bird species identified, any unique behaviors witnessed, and the most exciting moments of the day.
Share Discoveries: Gather each day to discuss their findings, exchange intriguing bird facts, and inspire them to share their thoughts and questions.
Celebrate and Reflect: At the conclusion of the 12 Days of Children’s Christmas Bird Count on January 6, 2024, take a moment to celebrate your family’s achievements and the joyous birdwatching adventure you have experienced together. Consider celebrating the completion of this 12-day adventure with a small family gathering. It would be a terrific opportunity to reflect on the valuable insights gained about birds and their fascinating habits.
Prizes Draw for All Participants: To heighten the excitement, we are organizing prize draws for all participating children who share their findings. Each child has multiple chances to win something special—simply share their thoughts on what they observed and learned.
The draw date is January 13, and we will be accepting the children’s observations by email (click/tap here) by January 11th. To participate, send us their reflections, and they could be a winner in the draw!
Enjoy the enchantment of nature during these 12 days of bird counting!