How to Help a Bird! | Animal Science for Kids

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I love watching out for animals. All year long, I look out for squirrels, deer, foxes,

and any other critters I can find.

In the winter, animals can be a little bit harder to see. But there’s one animal you’ll

probably be able to spot, even in your backyard: birds!

And you know what? I think I see one now. Hey Dino!

Dino: Hi Jessi!

Jessi: We were just talking about how birds spend the winter!

Some of them fly off to warmer places during the coldest part of the year, but many birds

stay put.

And for those birds, winter can be a tough time. They have to find food, even though

the food they like best—like insects and berries—might be covered in snow.

D: That’s right! But people can make winter a little bit better for birds.

J: That’s a good point! There are all kinds of things people can do for birds to help

them in the winter time.

We can put out birdseed or peanuts in birdfeeders for them to eat. And we can put fresh water

in birdbaths so they have something to drink.

D: That would be great! I love it when people leave me snacks!

J: And there’s something else you can do, too. Do you know what season comes after winter,


D: Spring!

J: That’s right! And do you know what spring brings?

D: I do! Baby birds—chicks!

J: Yes! In the winter, birds have to get ready for their chicks to hatch. And the first order

of business is to make a place to lay their eggs.

D: A nest!

J: Yeah! Some birds start building their nests in the winter, so they’re ready to lay their

eggs in the spring.Dino, how do birds make their nests?

D: Welp, different birds can build their nests using different kinds of things that they

find around them. Around here, many birds use things like twigs,

leaves and grass. And for a lot of the year, those things are pretty easy to find.

But in the winter, the leaves have fallen, and twigs and grass can be covered with snow.

J: But that’s where we can help!

You can pull out leaves, sticks, pine needles, and other stuff from under the snow, to make

them easier for birds to find and gather up!

And if you happen to find something cool like a spider web, or even a snake skin — leave

it where you found it! A nesting bird might pick these things up and weave it into a nest.

D: Snake skin and spider web? Sounds like home sweet home to me!

J: We can put out other stuff for the birds, too. Do you have things at home that are similar

to twigs and grass?

What about a piece of string, or a strip of paper?

Thread, yarn, even pet hair can make good nest materials, so you can put those things

outside for birds too!

Just lay out a few pieces of string on the ground, or hanging across a tree branch, and

then see how long before it disappears.

If you’re quiet, and patient, you might get to watch a bird pick it up!

If you do, pay close attention to where the bird takes it — it may be building a nest

in your neighborhood!

D: That would be great! You’d get to do some serious bird watching—and in the spring,

you might even get to see some baby birds! So cute!

J: And your scraps could help make a home for those baby birds.

So this winter, think of the birds!

They’re busy—they’ve got to find food and water and build their nests.

So if we put out out little food, water, and nest supplies for them, we not only give them

a helping hand --

D: -- or wing!

J: -- we also get the fun of watching them! And you know that watching animals is one

of my favorite things.

D: What can I say? We birds are pretty interesting to watch. And some of us are downright handsome!

J: Do you have any questions about birds, or the seasons or volcanoes or robots? Let

us know! Just get the help of a grown up and leave a comment for us down below, or send

us an email at, and we’ll see you next time!