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The educational benefits of a ten-week home-based wild bird feeding program for children

By A. M. Beck, G. F. Melson, P. L. da Costa, T. Liu

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This study evaluated a ten-week educational home-based program for feeding wild birds, intended to increase elementary school age children's knowledge about birds, especially those wild birds commonly encountered at outdoor home feeders. We measured changes from pre- to post-program in 65 seven- to 12-year old children's knowledge about wild birds, as well as in environmental attitudes. The goal was not only to increase bird knowledge in the target child but also to involve other family members in home-based nature education activities. After the program, seven- to nine-year old boys and girls showed significant gains in bird knowledge, but older children (10-12 years) did not significantly improve. Children's increased knowledge was positively associated with parental education. There was no systematic change in environmental attitudes. Parents identified family involvement as a particularly beneficial aspect of the program, and 90% of contacted families were still feeding birds one year after program termination.

Date 2001
Publication Title Anthrozoos
Volume 14
Issue 1
Pages 19-28
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
Language English
Author Address Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Center for the Human-Animal Bond, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Age
  2. Animal nutrition
  3. Birds
  4. Child development
  5. Children
  6. Education
  7. Indiana
  8. Learning
  9. peer-reviewed
  1. peer-reviewed