Finding yourself at home with the kids can be difficult especially when figuring out how to keep them busy. Given the recent developments in our communities, our children have been mandated to stay home as schools across the country have been closed.

At times like these it’s important to remember to get some fresh air and stay active, not only for us as adults but for our children as well. An easy way to do so and to get them out in the great outdoors and teach them about birds and our natural environment. Whether you live in an urban environment or out in the country somewhere, this is a wonderful time of the year to be outside and a particularly great time to be birding.

Spotting Chickadees

These birds are fairly easy to spot as they are very common in this area all year long. They spend most of their time at feeders, more specifically and more frequently at window feeders. Interestingly, chickadees will hide seeds and other food to eat later and can remember thousands of hiding spots at a time. Although they spend most of their time at feeders they sometimes do wander off in a flock, making them easy to spot while in flight. To attract more of these adorable birds consider putting up a nesting box filled with sawdust to increase your chances of spotting them in your yard especially towards nesting season. 

If you think you have spotted one but aren’t quite sure listen for their unique sound, as we like to say here at Gilligallou, chickadees sound like they’re saying “cheeseburger”, it is a familiar whistle you may have heard many times in your backyard before.

Black-capped chickadees are the most commonly recognized birds and one of the first birds anyone learns about. Keeping your kids engaged these days can help in many ways and who knows you may inspire them to become birders in the future!

Setting Up Nesting Boxes

A great way to attract chickadees, as well as other birds such as wrens and bluebirds, is to set up a nesting box in your backyard. When setting up the nesting box make sure that it is in a proper location, somewhere easily accessible to clean, has enough cover, and in an inviting location. Many birds can be selective of their nesting location so it is important to remember to place your nest box in an area that is not accessible to predators like rodents, house cats, and snakes. 

Nesting boxes are the perfect opportunity for your kids to spot more chickadees and continue to learn about them throughout the season.