Origami bird
This origami bird is inspired by a Fumiaki Shingu model

By Diana Smyth, Rouge National Urban Park, ON

Promotes: recycling, appreciation for nature, fine motor skills

Did you know that one popular Holiday tradition is the Christmas Bird Count? For more than 100 years, people have been gathering together around Christmas time in different places across the Americas to collect data on bird populations.

At Rouge National Urban Park where I work, we have been having the Annual Winter Bird Count for more than 10 years. Thousands of birds call the Rouge home during the winter months, and we want to know who’s around. Which species are here in the greatest numbers? Are there any unexpected visitors? Which habitats are they concentrated in? Volunteers, along with bird experts, venture out into the forests, meadows and wetlands of the park to count all the birds seen and those heard.

Inspired by this Holiday tradition, why don’t you create some Christmas birds with your kids to decorate your home? This Club Parka activity is great to let your kids know about the Christmas Bird Count tradition. Leftover wrapping paper could easily be used for this activity. Ready to fold? Let’s go!

Necessary material

You will need:

  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Christmas wrapping paper leftovers (when possible, use thicker paper)

Instructions:

  1. Cut the leftover wrapping paper into a square (the best size is between 7” x 7” and 10” x 10”). Put all other materials aside, keeping only your square piece of paper.
  2. Fold the paper in half to obtain a triangle. Unfold.

  3. First step  Second step
  4. Fold it in half the other way (vertically) to obtain a triangle. Place the triangle in front of you, so it points towards the left.
  5. Bring the tip of the triangle towards the right, fold approximately 1” from the edge.

  6. Third step  Fourth step
  7. Pull the upper tip of the triangle out to the left, fold approximately ½” from the left edge to form a square.
  8. You should see a mark in the middle of your design. Use that mark to fold in two, top to bottom.

  9. Fifth step  Sixth step
  10. To form the wings, fold each pointed tip upward on its respective side.
  11. Optional: To form the beak, reverse the tip down between the two sides.

  12. Seventh step  Eighth step
  13. Turn around, open slightly and stand the bird on its belly.

Did you know? Some birds hide in evergreens to stay safe from the wind. Place your bird in your Christmas Tree so it feels at home.

The next time you head outside for a family winter activity, whether you’re visiting a park or walking through your neighborhood, ask your kids to look and listen for the birds around them.

Download this activity (PDF, 678 Kb)