Backyard Birdwatching

DSC_0072I’ve been doing a lot of bird watching lately. I don’t mean the time where you tiptoe through the woods with your binoculars looking for species you’ve never seen before. First of all, binoculars give me headaches and I don’t go much further than my backyard. I do have a birdfeeder, but I’ve seen those birds hundreds/thousands of time.

So what I am looking for is a good photo, a close-up of their bird faces. I find their expressions fascinating.

As I was sitting in my yard and then came in to look at my pictures, I thought of a project we did in preschool one year. We introduced the kids to the birds by using big, colorful pictures of the most common birds in the area. We encouraged parents to join in (many parents couldn’t identify the birds either). The families had fun.

And I thought – what a fun project to do with your kids this summer? Learn to identify the common birds in your neighborhood.

I am coming from a Midwest perspective but I know many of you live other places so your list will be different. As you see a new bird, have your child take a picture and put in a scrapbook as a record of his summer. Even when sheltering in place, you can see a bird or two.

But did you ever think of all the verses about birds? Learn one or two as you do the DSC_0063 2project.

And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” (Genesis 1:20)

But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:7-10)

 I know all the birds of the hills,
    and all that moves in the field is mine. (Psalm 50:11)

Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
    they sing among the branches. (Psalm 104:12)

The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. (Song of Solomon 2:12)

DSC_0049“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? (Matthew 6:25-34)\

Here are some Midwest suggestions.



Downy Woodpecker


Chickadee (so cute)

Blue Jay

House Finch

Red-winger Blackbird\

Mourning Dove


Comment and let us know the most unusual bird in your neighborhood.



  1. Since being at your house last week, I have been doing this in my front yard. Even ordered a feeder. I have watched as three baby blue jays are learning how to fly. It’s taking longer for one of them. Isn’t that sometimes how it goes? I’ve also seen how protective the parents are of that one….swooping over me if I’m too close. Yes, they all sing like there’s not a care in the world. I too, have relaxed a little in the process. Sat still, a little more. Hearing them give praise, and thanking God for the reminder of their simple example. I have been taking pictures with my “real camera”. I haven’t had that out in years. My husband came in this morning and said “your baby blue jay is sitting in your chair out in the front.” I’m making coffee and heading out to visit with him and enjoy God’s beauty before the rush of the day. Thanks for sharing your love of photography, birds and words, Linda.


    1. Thanks, Carol – again not sure I’ve ever been around a baby bluejay nest – that’s a treat


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