Lockdown restrictions have been lifted all over the world, and most people are now planning their next family trip. In fact, about 70% of US families are likely to take a family vacation within the year. Family trips are very important since they encourage bonding and are life enriching. Going to the beach and visiting theme parks are always popular options, but has your family ever tried bird watching? Bird watching is increasing in popularity as a family hobby. It not only strengthens the family’s bond, but it can also inspire everyone to value nature and teach kids to be more eco-friendly.
A bird watching family trip can be as easy as going on a nature hike in a nearby park, forest, or river area. You can find local bird watching spots by doing a quick search online. Once you have a destination, you can use these tips to start bird watching with your family.
Prepare The Proper Gear
Bird watching requires a different set of essentials compared to the usual gear that you bring on typical family vacation trips. Of course, you need to bring water and snacks, a first-aid kit, and your smartphones. However, you would also need to bring extra clothing and shoes that are comfortable, especially if you need to hike to reach your chosen bird watching spot. You’ll also need binoculars to easily locate the birds, a notebook and pencil, and a bird identification book or list to identify the birds that you and your family will see.
Timing Is Important
When bird watching, it is very important to know when to actually venture out and explore. Experts say that it’s best to go out at dawn or dusk because there would be lots of bird activity during those times. You or your older children can search for local birds and make a list of the different types of birds you hope to see. As you find them, make sure to check them on your checklist, and encourage your kids to describe them through words or drawings on their notebook. You may also use phone apps to help you identify birds. Experts highly recommend the Merlin app by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
To make your bird watching trip even more fun, try doing a scavenger hunt with your family. Make a competition out of it and see can who can locate the most birds in a span of time. If you have younger kids and do not have the energy for a competition, you can play Follow the Leader. Children enjoy having leadership roles and sharing their knowledge with others. Let the kids pick a few things for everyone else to find or even let them lead the hike for a while.
Going on trips is an excellent way to bond with your loved ones. For your next trip, consider bird watching. With the simple tips discussed above, bird watching can be an enjoyable hobby for your entire family.