Junior Audubon

Family birding fun at the San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival. © 2010 Dave McMullen

Napa-Solano Audubon Society has a kid-friendly birding group, Junior Audubon! Younger birders tend to be highly motivated and learn quickly, but they can have difficulty finding ways to connect to each other and often get lost in adult-oriented bird outings.

Junior Audubon hopes to remedy these issues by offering a free group exclusively for teens and pre-teens. The group meets twice each month for two hours. Parental attendance is optional. The outings are set in different habitats near Napa, focus on improving birding skills and learning bird ecology.

Check the Calendar page to see dates times, and descriptions of upcoming walks.

Youth Programs

Presentations for classrooms or youth groups are offered by prior arrangement. The program usually includes an overview of why birding is fun, a beginning birding video, an exploration of feathers, bird skulls and nests. Additional birding activities, games or art may also be included as time allows. The program ends with a guided bird walk in the schoolyard or nearby park (binoculars can be provided on loan).

Special Introductory and Family Events

Educational exhibits and birding activities are offered at various community events through out the year, including the annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival, Earth Day events, California Native Plant Society sales and garden workshops, and others. These usually focus on the importance of "citizen science" and invite participants to become involved with our 'Hummingbirds at Home" project, or eBird, or other monitoring projects.

Feeding Backyard Birds

One great way to introduce children to birds is to have backyard bird feeders. In our area seed feeders filled with black-oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, un-dyed mixed seed, safflower seeds, and cracked corn may attract some of the following birds: White-crowned, Golden-crowned, Song & Fox Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, California & Spotted Towhees, House Finches, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Oak Titmice, California Scrub-Jays, Mourning & Eurasian Collared Doves, and California Quail to name a few. Nyjar Seed feeders attract Lesser and American Goldfinches and Pine Siskin. (Caution: Nyjar seed feeders can become very expensive if you attract large flocks of Goldfinch and Siskins!) If you add suet feeders you may also support Nuttall's, Downy, & Hairy Woodpeckers, Red-shafted Flickers and White-breasted Nuthatches. Beware, you may also attract birds that hunt other birds such as Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks! Once you start, be sure to clean out your feeders every week or two with warm soapy water to prevent any diseases from spreading. Here's a link to a helpful pamphlet entitled Helping Backyard Birds in Winter, written by Bill Thompson, III and distributed by Bird Watcher's Digest that is located in our Birding Notes Archive.

Young Birder's Backyard Guide

There are between 8,700 and 10,000 different species of birds, and while all birds have wings, not all birds can fly. Birds live all over the world in all types of habitats, from the coldest to the hottest and from the wettest to the driest areas. Birds vary greatly in size, ranging from very large ostriches to the tiniest of hummingbirds. If you study birds near your home and in your backyard, you can learn about the features and behaviors of these fascinating animals.

Check out the Guide here!

Lewis's Woodpecker © 2014 Dave McMullen Rough-legged Hawk © 2014 Dave McMullen Dark-eyed Junco (at sunrise) © 2013 Dave McMullen Green Heron © 2012 Dave McMullen Western Meadowlark © 2013 Dave McMullen

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