Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

In the Schoolroom: Summer is for the Birds


Bird watching encourages kids to go outdoors and fosters a connection that can inspire a lifelong appreciation for wildlife and conservation.

One of the best parts of summer is that we homeschool moms can easily sneak in a lot of learning disguised as fun. If you take a break in the summer months or have a lighter schedule, it is easier to explore this beautiful world. I suggest bird watching as a great way to engage with nature.

Bird watching in the summer offers a fantastic blend of fun and education for children. It is an engaging way to explore nature and learn about the environment. This activity encourages kids to spend time outdoors and fosters a connection with the natural world that can inspire a lifelong appreciation of wildlife and conservation.

How Many?!

Did you know that there are over 11,000 known species of birds? In the United States, the average backyard is visited by up to twenty-five species over a year, so your backyard is an excellent place to start. Hanging a tray feeder will immediately attract many birds to your yard and having a few feeders with different seeds in each will attract a great variety of birds.

Once you have a good number of birds visiting, invest in a local bird guide (Sibley’s are the gold standard) to look up those birds you are unfamiliar with.

Many families keep a notebook to note the day and time of bird sightings. You can also download the free eBird app to your phones to share sightings and get information about the birds you observe.

One of the most enchanting benefits of bird watching is that you can become familiar with the different songs sung. Birds generally sing for one of three reasons: to call out when there is danger, for courtship, or to converse.

Each bird species has unique calls, and, with enough birds around, it is mind-blowing to compare how diverse the songs are. God is indeed good in His creation.

To encourage more birds to come to your yard this summer, why not have your children make a few feeders to draw them in?

A Bagel For the Birds Feeder


  • Slice a bagel in half.
  • Cut four lengths of twine, about 10 inches each.
  • Thread each piece of twine through the bagel hole on the top, bottom, and sides.
  • Gather the ends at the top and tie them together.
  • Cover your bagel in peanut butter and top with a generous helping of seed.
  • Hang it up.
  • You could also use a pinecone, a rice cake, or citrus fruit. The birds will love it, and the kids will too!

“Orange” You Glad to Have a Feeder?

  • Take an orange and cut the top third off.
  • Hollow out the orange.
  • About halfway down, poke a hole in each side and thread twine or ribbon through the holes to make a holder.
  • Fill your orange feeder with food and hang it up.

About Mary Ellen Barrett

Mother of seven children and two in heaven, Mary is wife to David and a lifelong New Yorker. She has homeschooled her children for eleven years using Seton and an enormous amount of books. She is a columnist for The Long Island Catholic and blogs here . Meet Mary Ellen.
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