Late winter and early spring are great times for birding. No scrubby underbrush, no leafy tree cover, no mosquitos.....
Ways for families to add birding to their nature study
- Supply food and water for birds outside your home
- Spend time watching birds (at home or maybe behind a bird blind like the one at Jester Park), potentially with the following options:
- sketching birds
- photographing birds
- observing with binoculars
- using a field guide or recordings
- Talk with an experienced birder (search for educational programs such as the one next week in Des Moines)
- Start a life list
- Read picture books about birds. Park packs are free and have great choices for titles.
The Iowa Ornithologists Union has a website where people give reviews of Iowa birding sites. I found a review for Raccoon River Park. The park was divided into habitats and the reviewer listed birds seen, and the potential for ones he did not see. You can double-check with the geocaching.com search box to find birding areas that are also geocaching sites -- it could be a two-for-one outing!