14 February, 2011

Preparing for The GBBC Part I: How to Make a Bird Call

This week our class will be learning a bit about some United States presidents, and . . . 
drum roll please . . . 

preparing for The GBBC!  

The what? you ask.  The GBBC stands for The Great Backyard Bird Count!  The web site for this awesome event explains what it is all about:

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.

Our class will be preparing for this event by completing some bird works, listening to some bird songs and bird calls, and reading some bird books.  In the next 4 days I will be sharing these with you.

Part I:  How to Make a Bird Call

Materials Needed:

screw eyes
drill with a bit the same size as the screw eyes
rosin powder (such as you would use for baseball)

  1. Go to your local hardware store, and pick up a box of screw eyes.  Chose some that will be about the right size for your child to twist back and forth
  2. Grab a branch from your yard, a park, or perhaps if necessary, a shop.  The branch should be about 1 - 2 inches in diameter
  3. Saw the branch into pieces about 3 inches long
  4. Drill a small hole in the end of the branch, the same size as the screw eyes.  The hole should go into the wood about 1 - 2 inches.
  5. Dip the screw eye into the rosin powder, and screw it into the hole.  Twist it back and forth until it starts to "cheep."  You might need to twist it for a bit, but I promise eventually it will work.
  6. Walk around your neighborhood "cheeping," and see who answers back.  Cheep, cheep!

Note:  You may want to add a piece of yarn to your "cheeper,"so your child can wear it around his or her neck.  I had a piece on mine, but I had to cut it off this morning as it was all tangled up, and I haven't had a chance to put on a new piece yet.

Tomorrow Part II:  Tiny Bird Matching


  1. I had a bird call just like this when I was a kid. My parents bought it from the Audubon Society and I loved it! I still have it in amongst my childhood treasures, but never thought of making one for my children. Thanks for the great idea. We are also doing the GBBC. Have fun!

  2. I am so glad to have found your blog. There is so much here that is beautiful and truly helpful to me. I really like the tiny bird matching. I am going to try to make one for my own classroom. This is a link to a great bird matching file on my own blog. Hope you find it and anything else I have HELPFUL. http://thehelpfulgarden.blogspot.com/2011/11/bird-matching-cards.html


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