January 5 celebrated National Bird Day. The International Museum of Arts and Sciences had presented a lesson on creating your own backyard bird log on their website. Just because the day has past, does not mean you still cannot make one. The information is still on their website and available any time.
In 2002, Born Free USA, a non-profit focused on wildlife conservation, activism, and education, in collaboration with the Avian Welfare Coalition, launched the first annual National Bird Day to promote awareness of birds every January 5th. Many nature and bird lovers observe National Bird Day.
The Rio Grande Valley of South Texas is a special place because of its large variety of birds species. Over 500 different bird species live in just the four counties of Willacy, Starr, Hidalgo, and Cameron. A species is a group of similar organisms that are able to reproduce. For example, a species of birds that is local to the Rio Grande Valley is the green jay.
The Rio Grande Valley has a subtropical climate. Climate is the overall weather conditions of a place. This is different from weather, which is the day-to-day changes in our atmosphere. A subtropical climate is a climate that has less rain than a tropical rainforest, yet more rain than a desert. This unique climate allows a large diversity of life to thrive in the Rio Grande Valley.
This climate is why the Valley is a top birding site in the United States. Along with local parks and World Birding Center’s throughout the Valley, you have many places to catch a glimpse of the species that visit the Valley or call the Valley their home. The best place to start though, is your own backyard.
People watch and observe birds for many reasons. Many scientists keep a count over the years of the birds they have seen for scientific research, others just really enjoy watching them for recreation. By keeping a tally of the birds you see in your backyard, you will engage in observation of the environment around you, and get to know it better, and the communities of birds that live in your area.
The website has a list of materials needed to make your own bird log along with a downloadable bird log of their own with directions. There is an activity procedure section that includes step-by-step directions on how to use their log or what you should have on your own. Suggestions are to have colored pencils to draw what you see and to take notes.
A section on your log should include research you do on the birds you see and another section for how many times and what time of day you see a specific bird. Researching and figuring out what birds are in your area will also help in making decisions about bird seed if you want to see more birds.
You can view the entire project online at https://theimasonline.org/create-a-backyard-bird-log-on-national-bird-day/.