Adventures in Bird Watching!

Recently, I took Clara on an educational (and frugal) field trip to Hawk Mountain, a wildlife sanctuary open to the public year-round. It was a fantastic way to spend a beautiful Autumn afternoon! There is a modest trail fee, which is totally worth it, but Clara was free since she falls into the 3 years old or younger category — an added bonus!

We packed up a picnic lunch, binoculars, camera, reusable water bottles and a few snacks, and set off on our bird-watching adventure! The two of us enjoyed all the different lookout points along the trail. It was so scenic, and we started to spot birds almost immediately after starting out on the trail!

We hiked all the way to the top of the mountain!! Here we are not even close to the halfway point…

For a three year old, this trail is quite rugged, but Clara was totally up for the challenge, and could not wait to see what the view from the top would be like!

View from the top…. Right about here was when Clara declared, “This is totally awesome!!!!”

…and then we were treated to mother nature’s air show!

We spotted SO many awesome birds! Clara could not WAIT to tell Mark and Emily all about it, ((Emily was soooooo jealous!) and Clara was SO proud of herself for making it all the way to the top and back — so exciting!!

Bird-watching is such a fun, frugal, and very educational activity to try with the kiddos. In some cases, it’s great exercise too!


  1. Dear Valerie,

    I must say, I do enjoy seeing the binoculars I had as a kid getting some love.


  2. What a gorgeous view! I bet Emily was so bummed to miss out. That just means you’ll have to go back!

    • We’re definitely going back, and SOON. Need to get there while the leaves still look so beautiful!

  3. Go Clara! We love bird watching – whether on the trail or in our own backyard. Here are a few tips I compiled on bird watching with kids:

    • These are GREAT tips, Debi! Thanks so much for sharing — I esp. love the idea of a DIY bird book! Very cool!!

  4. What a great job of hiking all the way to the top! My kids so would not do that, they’re total wimps about hiking.

    • LOL — I was starting to get nervous, and thought about backing out when I didn’t see many little kids on the trail.. it was really rocky & rugged in areas! I have no idea how Emily will do. Clara may have out-done her big sister.

  5. Erin Zackey says

    funny, it’s actually “bird week” at my little outdoor school and a fun frugal activity to do at home with this theme might be to make toilet paper tube “binoculars” and bird masks with feathers and old cereal boxes cut into a mask shape. we didn’t see as many birds as we usually do in our woods today, but we had fun pretending to be birds!

    • How fun to pretend to be birds!! We made toilet paper binoculars a couple years back, and they were great fun (and VERY frugal). Have you made any bird feeders?

  6. Stunning scenery AND birds – what a great day out!

    • Thanks, Maryanne! We’ll definitely have to go back again soon. Emily’s been begging me to take her ever since she saw the photos!

  7. What a great time you guys had and some great pictures you got! Beautiful scenery!

  8. LOVE it. And I want to go on it too!

  9. How fun! We have a wildlife sanctuary very close to us that we love to go to, it’s also great for bird watching. It is so much fun to be out in nature! So refreshing πŸ™‚

    • Yay for awesome wildlife sanctuaries!! It’s nice to take advantage of the nice weather while it lasts. Yes, very refreshing — I came back feeling like a new woman! πŸ™‚