Materials for introducing children to birds

In India, relatively little original material exists for young children to learn about and get excited by birdwatching. Our goal at Early Bird is to develop a variety of high quality educational materials for children, test these in the field and in the classroom, and refine and distribute the material for wide usage. Through birds, we also hope to encourage and facilitate a deeper connection with nature.

The print and e-resources we develop would be useful for schools and nature groups conducting their own after-school programmes with children, as well as for parents looking to engage their children in a meaningful and fun activity.

What's that bird? - Flashcards on common Indian birds

This is a set of flashcards on birds of India, which features 40 common species, to introduce children to the wonderful world of birds. These are slightly larger than postcard size, and printed on thick paper and laminated to withstand rough usage.

Each card features a photograph of the species on the front, and interesting information about it on the back. The text has been kept to a minimum, focusing on icons to convey information on food, habitat and size. The cards also feature a trivia section, which can be used to play educational games in the classroom, by following instructions given in a separate card that is included with the set. The flashcards have been tested by various schools and nature groups across India, and have got a great response from children (6-14 year olds) as well as from educators.

We have now described 6 different games that can be played with the set, either by children on their own or through a facilitator. The instructions for these games may be downloaded at this link

The perfect gift for an inquisitive child!
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Foldable pocket guides to common birds

As the beginner birdwatcher learns to identify more birds, there is often a need for a simple pocket guide that lists the common species of the region in a portable format that can be easily carried in the field. This is especially needed for children who may be confused by the comprehensive and often bulky field guides.

We have produced a range of pocket guides for different regions to fill this need. The pocket guides fold into a size of 3.5″ x 8.5″ and are laminated for protection. Illustrations are shown for around 135-140 species in each, with winter migrants and selected other features (eg. Western Ghats or endemic species) marked separately. There are 10 panels with bird illustrations, and for ease of reference, the featured species have been divided into 5-6 categories based on habitat (eg. Wetland Birds) and behaviour (eg. Ground-feeding Birds).

Versions currently available include English language pocket guides (Peninsular India, Spiti/Ladakh, Andaman&Nicobar Islands) as well as bilingual pocket guides in Kannada or Malayalam as appropriate (Birds of Karnataka, Birds of Kerala, and Birds of Cauvery/MM Hills Wildlife Sanctuary). The illustrations in all versions have been used with permission from “Birds of the Indian Subcontinent” by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp and Tim Inskipp.

Bulk orders for any of the pocket guides may be emailed to us at earlybird@ncf-india.org

Useful for beginner birders!
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Early Bird Kit

We are working to develop an educational “kit” or “curriculum” consisting or a set of interactive lessons or tutorials, each with a detailed teacher’s manual to guide the educator through a series of linked activities that flow into each other. The suggested activities would involve the flashcards and pocket guide we have developed. We also plan to make available posters for classroom display, and electronic resources such as videos and presentations highlighting interesting aspects of bird behaviour. The curriculum, once developed, would be made available for free download through this website.