Getting to know your neighborhood birds
It’s spring! Around us shades of color are brightening the landscape, as the red maples bloom and the first flowers appear in gardens. Color also arrives in waves of bird and insect migrations.
American Robin, Turdus migratorius
Some birds, such as crows and blue jays are here all year round. In fact, those harbingers of spring, American Robins, spend the winter secreted in the woodlands, remerging when the ground is soft to pull up grubs and worms from lawns. On the coattails of March and the lapels of April take a walk in your neighborhood to see what’s flitting about.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- On a walk look high and low. Some birds are treetop dwellers, others like the bushy undergrowth.
- On a mild spring morning get up early and open the windows to listen for the dawn chorus! As the sun rises, the morning is often filled with lively bird song, usually males proclaiming their territory or singing lustily to attract a mate. Check out the sounds of this dawn chorus captured by our friend Anne Swaim, Executive Director at Saw Mill River Audubon.
- Spy on a neighbor! No not really – but do check out feeders that others put out in your neighborhood. You may be surprised at the diversity of birds feeding next door!
- Visit a town or village park where there are different habitats. Look around a pond or along the Hudson River for ducks and waterfowl.
- Don’t let those empty toilet paper rolls go to waste! Have your children turn them into kid friendly binoculars. https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/toilet-paper-roll-binoculars-4164742
- Can you find birds of different colors? The bright blue of a jay, the brilliant red of a cardinal?
- Listen! Close your eyes for 30 seconds and let your ears capture the sounds around you.
- Birds are not the only animals that are migrating. Check out Journey North and learn about birds, butterflies, amphibians and more https://journeynorth.org/
- Download the Explorer’s Guide from Cornell Lab of Ornithology for more things to do. https:/www.birds.cornell.edu/k12/explorers-guidebook
About the Author
Phyllis Bock, Director of Education
Phyllis has worked at Teatown since October 1991, when she began as a volunteer Nature Guide. Ms. Bock possesses a BA Biology from Queens College, CUNY. As Education Director, she takes to heart Teatown’s mission and encourages young and old alike to embrace all that nature has to offer. She can often be found hiking or kayaking somewhere in the Hudson Valley.