Disclaimer – This post and giveaway are sponsored by Ace Hardware. All opinions are 100% my own.
Some friends at Ace must have heard about my boys love for birds because they asked us if we would be interested in being a Birding Blogger. I don’t know what that is…BUT I AM IN.
In fact, you will be very interested in this hobby too if you have four loud children that love birds. You get to sit outside and convince your kids to be very VERY quiet in order to listen to the sweet chirps and songs of nature’s feathered friends. It’s basically every mom’s best friend. Did you hear that? Of course you did…it’s the sound of your sanity returning.
What is birding exactly? It’s just listening, watching and identifying birds. It’s actually a legit hobby as we ran across a lady in Jekyll Island that told us her husband was in a birding club. I had zero filter after that statement. I was like WHAT?! There is a birding club? Where people go around and listen to birds? It may sound like an epic waste of time to some people but to me….a mom who has four crying babies almost around the clock…that sounds like my particular slice of heaven.
So YES Ace….yes I am very interested 🙂 So I thought I would introduce the boys to this divine hobby and see if it stuck. Here are some of my best tips when it comes to introducing your little ones to Birding….
Birding can involve some very advanced skills – learning how to identify different subspecies of birds by vocal variations? I mean we are still learning colors and that fingers don’t permanently belong in the nose. So just remember that the basics are the best route with little ones. I talked about how we listen to hear what direction the birds were in. And that different birds had different voices. You can use your phone to record your own voices and let the kids identify their siblings/parents and then tell them the birds do the same thing….they have different voices too!
BRING TOYS (aka BINOCULARS)
Kids love binoculars and even when they don’t see ANYTHING in them, they are still fun to have. We didn’t try to identify what kind of birds but we did try to find a bird with our eyes first and then see it closer with the binoculars.
Will was much better at this than the others so this might be a 5+ year or older task.
Weston really liked making things smaller 🙂 Also he is in fact wearing three pairs of shorts in these photos. It’s a phase. Hopefully.
When they did find a bird with the binoculars, we all would cheer and point and celebrate. It was a big deal!
We think that the next step to fostering a love for this hobby is to get Will a field journal that has Georgia birds listed in it. I am currently looking for one that has lots of large photos and pictures so that Will can see the details easily. And I also am gonna see if I can find a zoom lens for my camera so that I can take a few pictures and we can make bird cards of all the different species he finds.
I kind of learned this the hard way. I forgot to bring the snacks and sadly had to run back into the house to get them while the kids started melting on the blanket. Oh that’s another good tip….have a comfy place to sit 🙂
BE BIRD FRIENDLY
Another great way to be a better birder is to create a bird friendly yard. Ace offered to send the boys a bird feeder and food to make their own little bird oasis and we couldn’t say no! And I was excited because this Birdscape Triple Tube Bird Feeder is like the Golden Corral buffet for birds…..it has something for everyone!
Since we have so many trees in our front yard and the backyard is more of a loud play zone, we figured that the bird feeder would be best suited for the front.
Filling it was really easy and we are hoping that it attracts more birds to our yard. We already have a ton of different types that we see regularly – cardinals, hummingbirds, blue birds, hawks….we even have a large white heron that lives in our woods!
Doesn’t that one bird food look like something you find in an expensive trail mix? Seriously. These birds are eating GOOD! (it’s called the Kaytee® Nut & Berry Blend Bird Food and the other one is Ace Wild Bird Food.
Max learned how to swipe his brother’s sippy cup and it’s hilarious 🙂
We hung it with some leftover rope and so far, we have noticed that it is very well supported (even with the pesky squirrels that try to eat the food!). I am hoping that since we placed it so that it hangs in that particular spot, that we will be able to sit between the trees further away (in the shade!) and spot some other little birds getting a snack.
Max was also trying to swipe some of it for himself!
It’s probably the biology nerd in me but I am convinced that our kids need to know more about little critters than video games. Also, I can’t help but believe that teaching these little guys to take care of the little creatures will soften their little hearts and teach them to take care of others. You gotta start small, right?!
Thanks Ace for the supplies on this new adventure. My kids love it. And we love that you gave us an excuse to spend more time with family 🙂
Also – some exciting news for you guys…..especially those of you interested in taking up birding as a hobby…..Ace is wanting to help you get started. Not only do they have home improvement supplies and super helpful associates….they have everything you need to start birding! We could be bird feeder twins! Here’s the details….
- PRIZE: (1) Ace Gift Card worth $150
- NUMBER OF WINNERS : (1) ONE
- TO ENTER : Leave a comment with “BIRDING WITH THE BOWERS” and tell me what hobby you have picked up lately! Is it birding? zumba? photography? I’d love to hear!
- PRIZE SHIPS : Continental U.S.
- NITTY GRITTY : This giveaway closes on Friday, May 13th at 11:59pm EDT. Only one contest entry per email address. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be announced in an update to this post the following Friday morning. We will email the winner directly, so please make sure you use your regularly checked email address.
p.s. Interested in getting a bird feeder for your yard? Here are some of my favorites from Ace. Option 1, option 2, option 3, option 4 (perfect for a little playhouse!), option 5, option 6 (one of the prettiest hummingbird feeders!).