Starter Kit #1

Count, photograph, draw and research … birds, insects, and animals in your backyard

Such a simple thing to do and utterly addictive! Sit by the window or wander round the yard and observe the birds and the insects. Half hour a day, that’s all it needs to be. OR see how many you can find in a day.

  • Listen to a bird song and try to locate the bird.
  • Take a photo or sketch it.
  • Look it up in a reference book or online.
  • Note down some key points about the bird.
  • On the next day, find that bird again.
  • Now look for a new one.
  • Do the same with insects.
  • Each day, find a different creature and learn about it.
  • Keep a tally of how many times you see that creature.

Did you know Australia has a national bird survey every year? That’s when ordinary people (or keen bird-watchers (aka TWITCHERS) record every bird that visits their backyards that day. So we get a pretty good idea of numbers and species. One thing is clear … the tiny birds that used to hang out in the suburbs, Silver Eyes, Scarlet Honey-eaters, Bush Wrens are no longer here. Sad, but true. (Although Sheryl Gwyther did record lots of Scarlet Honey-eaters in the flowering bottle-brush, Callistemon viminalis in her front yard last year. None this year though.)

Check out the Birds in Backyards and Schools site for more information … maybe you and your parent/s could become mini-Twitches.

Leave a comment on our blog page about your results. Send us your images too, drawn or photographed and we’ll share it on our Facebook page as well.

Till next time,
Kate Foster.

Huge CONGRATULATIONS to the creator of our Appreciating Nature Starter Kit, Kate Foster. Kate has recently become the new associate literary agent at Storm Literary Agency and is actively building her client list. She is also a children’s author represented by Alice Sutherland-Hawes at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency in London.

Early morning at the Bay of Fires, Tasmania. Image: Ross Gwyther