Children will stay more focused on bird-watching if they're given guiding questions to think about. Some questions that will help them learn more about birds through their own observations are:
- What colors are the birds that they see?
- How big are different birds (compared to each other, or to other objects nearby)?
- Where do they see the birds (bird feeder, ground, trees, electric wires)?
- What birds do they most commonly see? (They don't need to know the names yet, but they can answer with descriptive terms.)
- What birds do they see just once in a while?
- What kind of behavior do they see in the birds?
- How do the birds interact with each other?
- What kinds of songs and sounds to the birds make?
Older kids can keep a log of their observations, including their answers to these questions. Younger children can make simple drawings of what they see, or have you help them record their observations. Very young kids can be asked simple questions, such as "Where is the red bird?", "Which is the biggest bird?", "What do you think that bird is doing?".
Keep their birding sessions short. An easy way to kill chidren's enjoyment of nature, including bird-watching, is to insist they spend more time on it than they want to. For younger kids, keep it to a few minutes. Older children with longer attention spans might be easily engaged for longer.