Here in Maine the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is conducting a survey of birds in our state. This is known as a bird atlas. This includes counting birds all across the state in all seasons. There’s an opportunity for citizens to participate. Since we put out bird feeders at our house year-round, we’re participating in the atlas.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife provides some forms (link opens a PDF) for participants to fill out to record their observations. The forms are great, but they’re rather plain. So to get my daughters excited about writing down our observations of birds at our feeders, I used Canva to put together a little more eye-catching Winter Bird Observation sheet. An image of the form is included below.
If you would like a copy of this form, just use this Canva template link to view, duplicate, and customize the form. You will need to have a free Canva account to duplicate and customize the form. I created the form by selecting a Canva worksheet design template then swapping out some of the decorative elements for the bird drawings. The bird drawings were found in the “elements” tab in Canva’s design editor.
Applications for Education
There are a few directions to head from this blog post. First, consider using Canva to create your own nature observation lists for your students to use at home or school. Second, keeping a record of animal observations is a good way for kids to learn about animal habits and habitats. Third, you and your students can contribute to projects like the Maine IFW bird atlas. eBird is a Cornell Lab of Ornithology project that invites bird observations from everyone. Project Noah is another collaborative project to which you and your students can contribute observations of animals in your neighborhood.