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How To Participate

Learn about your local birds! The following ideas will help get you started:

  • Knowledge Building Circle - Prepare for your bird studies by sharing classroom knowledge about birds. Pass around a feather or other bird-themed object for each student to share a word or topic about birds. Build and display your classroom bird word wall or organize into a mind map.
  • Classroom Bird Experts - Choose a local bird species for each student to research for a presentation or display. Collectively, you will be a classroom of bird experts!
  • Birds and Technology - Check out these great resources to assist with identification or research activities: Hinterland Who's Who, All About Birds, iBird Canada App, Merlin Bird ID App, eBirdCanada.
  • Bird Bulletin Board - Display bird posters, a sightings list, news items, bird facts, photos, and art on a school bulletin board. Share photos with other classes using the hashtag #BirdBulletinBoard!

Prepare for your bird count:

  • Download your region-specific Bird ID Guide. Print a card in colour, double-sided, for each student. You may choose to laminate the cards for use outside or subsequent activities.
  • Print a Bird Tally form to record observations during your bird count.
  • Encourage students to bring in field guides, binoculars, or posters from home to assist with bird identification.
  • For extra bird expertise, invite any birding parents to help with the count, or connect with your local naturalist club for a volunteer.

Go birding!

  • Choose any day in May to conduct your bird count.
  • Bird counts can be as short as 15 minutes, or up to a full day.
  • Designate one student to record group observations on the Bird Tally form.
  • Travel around your schoolyard or neighbourhood as a large group, or separate into smaller groups. Try to reach all the different habitats that make up your schoolyard.
  • Encourage students to be observant, using eyes and ears to find birds.
  • Identify and count all the birds you see at your schoolyard or surrounding neighbourhood. Try not to double-count moving birds!
  • Use the Bird Tally sheet to help keep track of your efforts and observations.

Report your observations:

  • Submit your bird count observations through the NatureCounts data portal.
  • Share your bird count results with your school community through intercom announcements, a bird bulletin board, a classroom or school newsletter, or local media!
  • Share your birding adventures with Bird Studies Canada! Email highlights and photos to education@birdscanada.org. Or connect with us on Twitter at @BSC_Education, using the hashtag #SchoolyardBirdBlitz
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