Getting Kids Out Into Nature

Puget Sound Bird Fest

This past weekend we went to the Puget Sound Bird Fest in Edmonds.  On Friday evening I went without the kids to the Opening Presentation by Paul Bannick.  He is an author and photographer who published a book about owls and woodpeckers. This presentation was about Owls of Washington by Season and Habitat.  He had some amazing photos of owls in the Pacific Northwest, from all over the state.  It was so cool to get a close-up look at our nocturnal raptors.

birding, bird watching, kids in nature, Pine Ridge Park, Edmonds
Three Little Birders

On Saturday we woke up early and met some friends at a local park for a guided bird walk.  Things were pretty quiet in the forest, but the kids enjoyed the ducks we saw and the golden-crowned kinglets.

birding, bird watching, kids in nature, Pine Ridge Park, Edmonds
Look! A Bird!

Then we headed over to the Birder Central and checked out some of the displays.  The kids played a quick round of the Migration Game (they both died on their migration)

kid nature games
Bird Migration Game

and then we got to see a presentation by the Woodland Park Zoo about owls.  The keepers brought 2 owls for us to see.

owls, woodland park zoo, puget sound bird fest
Meet Bob

We had to be quiet and still for the whole hour so we didn’t spook the birds.  We learned a lot about these wonderful creatures.

owls, woodland park zoo education
Gabe demonstrating how large his eyes would be if he were an owl

We spent a long time eating lunch and playing on the playground, then went back into the cool rooms to have some quiet time doing art projects while we waited for the afternoon presentation.

bird fest, kid art
Coloring in the Field Guide

Lorenzo Rohani and his dad, Michael have published a book called A Kid’s Guide to Birding.  Lorenzo became interested in birding at age 5, and started photographing them at age 9 with his father’s camera.  Now they’ve put together a book with tons of good tips for birding and fabulous photos of local birds.  Stay tuned in the next few weeks to learn more about this family!

I had planned for this to be the end of our day, but the kids were really interested in Lorenzo’s talk.  They begged me to join Lorenzo’s bird walk at Yost Park afterwards, so we quickly scarfed down the rest of our snacks and went up to follow him through the forest.

Kids Guide to Birding, kids in nature, bird watching, Edmonds Parks
Birding with Lorenzo

Things were quiet there, too, but the kids were much more interested than they were in the morning, perhaps because Lorenzo was more animated and talked more about what we were seeing and hearing.

We came home all filled up with new knowledge and inspiration.  We saw some friends at the Bird Fest exhibiting, and got ideas for the future.

Our Friend Cindy Easterson from the Puget Sound Bird Observatory

This is the most involved we’ve been, and it was really worth it to attend this free community event.

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