Spring is here in the northern hemisphere and now is more and more often to hear birds singing during the day. Naturally, this happens to be the perfect time to start a bird diary!
Over the last months I’ve been working on a really special project and today’s post will be all about it! Starting January of this year I started a collaboration with the Biobus (if you haven’t heard of them go check them out now!). They have a super cool program called Sunday science where they cover a range of scientific topics for kids of ages from 7 to 12 years old. This time, Sunday science is all about birds. To help the kids get a scientific point of view while practicing taking notes on scientific observations. For this project, I was asked to help to set up a bird diary with some bird illustrations to encourage the kids to add drawings to their observations. This was such a fun project. I even got to learn more about birds myself during this time.
This past Sunday was the first day of these Sunday science series and I think the bird diaries where a success. The kids had a bunch of activities that helped them to learn more about birds and part of it was to get started on their bird diaries. The way it works is they get a little notebook they can carry around for the next couple of weeks and make observations about birds that they spot in their backyards, parks, basically any outdoor setting. To assist them with the notebook activity we provided them the bird diary!! Here a some pictures of them recording their observations in their diaries using the guide book I made.
The scientific guidebook (Bird diary)
This guide is a small booklet to introduce you to bird watching. It has a couple of pages of introduction for you to gather your materials and have an idea of what kinds of things I’m suggesting you to record on your diary. As a fun fact a couple of the paintings I did to be part of this bird diary are inspired by old school illustrations. For example on page 12 where it depicts the wing of a bird, it is inspired by a paint called Wing of a European Roller (also known as Wing of a Blue Roller) which is a nature study watercolor by Albrecht Dürer. Dürer painted it from a dead specimen around the early 1500. Another example of inspiration of old school scientific illustrations is the cover of the bird diary which depicts two tree swallow painted by Audubon in 1824. Audubon was an American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his extensive studies documenting all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats.
As part of this guide there are a couple of online resources that are links to feather and egg databases that are really helpful for identification when you happen to find something interesting! Although is mostly focused for kids I think anybody young at heart can have fun as well with this bird diary.
Here’s the LINK for you to download the bird guide, feel free to print it and have it for personal use. It works best if you print each page in half of a letter size page (choose to print 2 pages per page on your printer set up and then just cut in the middle of the page), once you have all your pages punch 2 holes and attach your guide with a ribbon through the holes like the image here. This way you can fit it together with a A6 notebook where you can write your observations and glue stickers and drawing from the guide here.