A bird rally and an astronomical challenge for the family

The outdoors is good for your health, and you can take advantage of it to learn while having fun! Here are two activities that I love to do: bird watching during a walk and observing celestial elements in the evening. And it’s free!

A text from Eve Christian

Here are two activities that I love to do: bird watching during a walk and observing celestial elements in the evening. And it’s free!

Quoi : The Christmas Bird Rally

Where : In all regions of Quebec

When : From December 1, 2022 to January 15, 2023

For who : The children from 4 to 17 years old

Explanations: For a third year, this activity allows young people from all regions to learn about participatory science by taking part in an ornithological census.

First we must register to then download the free kit including instructions for the activity, recommended equipment and an illustrated list of winter birds.

You will then be able to begin observing. Locate and record all the birds present in your environment in winter, as professional ornithologists do.

Then send your observationswhich will join a batch of data that scientists will use for their research projects in order to better understand birds and thus better protect them.

To note : The Youth Zone of QuebecBirds is a wonderful complement to discover ornithology through activities and information.

+ : By recording their observations on the activity’s website, young people who participate in this rally have the chance to receive a nature-related participation prize.

To complete the activity :

The constellation of Orion Photo: Discovering the universe)

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Quoi : Challenge – explore the sky… and exoplanets

Where : The proposed sightings are visible all over southern Canada and at similar latitudes (Europe)

When : From the beginning of December to the end of January

Explanations : As a family, discover and observe ten astronomical objects or events; the naked eye is enough, no need for a telescope. As soon as the clouds are almost absent, activity sheet in hand, warm clothes on your back, presto! outside and we roll our eyes, yes, even in town!

follow this lien offering short explanations and images for ten observations to be made according to specific dates: the Moon, the planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, constellations… Do not be discouraged by the cloud cover; a well-placed clearing will allow you to find one of the sought-after objects! Download the challenge sheet to record your observations.

Marie-Eve Naud, astrophysicist, explains to young and old how to develop this passion for observing the ciel to discover wonders.

These are books on birds and on astronomy

Four children’s books Photo: Courtesy of several publishers

Titre : The birds of Quebec

Text : Jerome Carrier

Editions : Auzou

For children from : 3 ans

Résumé : Discovery of more than 24 birds from Quebec (blue jay, mourning dove, snowy owl, peregrine falcon, Canada goose), each presented by a short text describing its food, its habitat and some of its habits. Documentary book for preschoolers from the collection My first pet.

My opinion : The glossy pages highlight the beautiful photos: it feels like the birds are actually in front of our eyes. We can see all the details of their plumage and their beak, their colors. A beautiful book to have on hand during walks in the province.

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Titre : Quebec birds : guide d’identification

Text : Suzanne Brûlotte

Editions : nozzle

For young people from : 9 ans

Résumé : For girls and boys who want to perfect their knowledge of ornithology, attract, observe and identify birds at home: body parts, song, female/male distinctions, habitat and several other characteristics are presented with magnificent photos and a glossary .

My opinion : The books of the superb collection Young explorers are perfect for satisfying the curiosity of children. I really like the framesDid you know?which contain additional information.

Titre : The sky

Text : Michele Mira Pons

Illustrations : Robert Barborini

Editions : Actes Sud Junior

For children from : 4 ans

Résumé : How to identify the phases of the Moon and recognize a constellation? What is an eclipse? Where do shooting stars come from? These are some of the 12 questions addressed in this collection book. Very small steps, perfect for arousing the curiosity of young children. At the end, a quiz of 12 questions ensures that the material is well understood.

My opinion : This little book, with illustrations and text perfectly adapted to the first observations of the sky, will appeal to everyone, even if it is designed as an introduction to astronomy. To go through before going to observe the sky.

Titre : The sky at night

Text : Round Tafreshi

Editions : glénat

For the whole family

Résumé : Comets, eclipses, aurora borealis, moonrise, milky way, constellationsmore than 200 photographs of the night sky taken in natural sites classified as World Heritage by UNESCO or in urban skylines of 25 countries. These superb shots are accompanied by notions of astronomy and technical advice for photographing the sky at night.

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My opinion : A wonderful book to leave on the living room table to leaf through at any time. The photos are breathtaking, and the captions accompanying them make you dream. The text is dense, but the author knows how to marry scientific explanations and poetry. Honestly, it’s a wonderful Christmas gift to give to others or… to yourself!

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