Backyard Bird Count

A Home School Bird-Watching Adventure

Backyard bird watching can be an engaging and educational activity for home school students of all ages. All you need is a pair of binoculars, a bird identification guide, and a comfortable spot to sit and observe. By providing food and water for your feathered friends, you can attract a variety of different bird species to your backyard. With a bit of patience and keen observation skills, you can learn to identify different birds by their colors, shapes, and unique behaviors. Not only is bird watching a great way to connect with nature, but it can also provide valuable insights into the health and well-being of local bird populations.

Here are some of the most common birds you can find in Oklahoma.

Northern Cardinal

The first bird on our list is the Northern Cardinal, a striking bird with bright red plumage and a distinctive crest on its head. These birds are found all over Oklahoma, and they are a common sight at bird feeders. They are known for their beautiful songs, which can be heard throughout the year.

Red-Tailed Hawk (Two Views)

Another bird you can find in Oklahoma is the Red-tailed Hawk. These birds are large and powerful, with a wingspan that can reach up to four feet. They are often seen perched on telephone poles or soaring high in the sky, searching for prey. They are most common in the western and central parts of the state.

American Goldfinch

The third bird on our list is the American Goldfinch, a small but beautiful bird with bright yellow plumage. These birds are common in Oklahoma during the summer months, and they are often seen feeding on thistle and other seeds. They are known for their cheerful songs and acrobatic flight patterns.

Eastern Bluebird and Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Other birds commonly found in Oklahoma include the Eastern Bluebird, the Red-bellied Woodpecker, the Mourning Dove, and the Great Horned Owl. Whether you are a seasoned birdwatcher or just starting out, Oklahoma offers a wealth of opportunities to observe and appreciate these amazing creatures.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself while backyard bird watching:

Mourning Dove and Great Horned Owl
  • What species of bird is that?
  • What is the bird doing? Is it feeding, preening, or singing?
  • Is the bird alone or in a flock?
  • What is the bird’s preferred habitat? Is it in a tree, on the ground, or near water?
  • What is the bird’s coloration and pattern? Does it have any distinct markings?
  • What is the bird’s size and shape? Does it have a long tail or a large beak?
  • What is the bird’s song like? Can you identify it by its call or song?
  • How often do you see this species in your backyard? Is it a common visitor or a rare sighting?
  • Are there any other birds nearby that are interacting with this bird?

As you observe and ask yourself these questions, you’ll develop a better understanding and appreciation for the birds in your backyard. Happy bird watching!



The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual event organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in collaboration with the National Audubon Society and Birds Canada. This event is an opportunity for bird enthusiasts from all over the world to come together and count the birds they see in their backyard, local park, or any other location for a period of four days. The collected data is then used to track changes in bird populations over time and to identify any conservation concerns. The event has been going on for over two decades and has become one of the largest citizen science projects in the world, with tens of thousands of people participating every year. It is a fun and educational way for people of all ages to learn more about the birds that share their environment and to contribute to the scientific understanding of these amazing creatures.


To participate in this year’s Great Backyard Bird Count, visit Cornell Lab’s website.

Explore God’s Word and his created world with Master Naturalist, Bible teacher, and author Eryn Lynum. Discover God’s wonderful creation rooted in the truth of his Word! Nat = Natural, Theo = Theology. Where kids dive into the study of Natural Theology—discovering God through nature!


The Cornell Lab has an outstanding app for bird identification. You can identify them by sight or call and download the set of birds for your area.


The Benefits of Using a Bird Guide to Explore Natural Science and Geography

A standard bird guide is an excellent tool for introducing students to scientific and natural history concepts on a larger scale. By using it creatively, you can help students make connections to their own neighborhoods and beyond. Even learning the names of a few backyard birds can lead to a lifetime of friendship with creatures like the Northern Cardinals (pages 522-523) and Chimney Swifts (pages 88-89). With the aid of a basic bird guide, students can easily acquire an understanding of fundamental concepts such as biology and geography and an appreciation for annual cycles.

Handbook of Nature Study: 

Botsford Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study is a fantastic book that covers all kinds of creatures, plants, and habitats. It has all sorts of resources in it and is available for free download here. Anna Botsford Comstock talks about birds beginning on page 27 of the linked edition of the Handbook of Nature Study. Take a few minutes to read those pages, and then remember those ideas as you explore birds in your own backyard.

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