Friday, August 11, 2017

8.11.17 KidSummer - Birding 101 - Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Brewster, MA

First Flight!  Wait 'til you hear what we got to see (and hear today!)  I'll tell you about it in a bit.  I was looking forward to discussing wing span and wing beats with the Bird Nerds.  It's when we talk about a special avian superhero; the hummingbird.  They are the only bird who can fly backwards.  They migrate thousands of miles, even though they are only 4 inches long (tip of the bill to the tip of the tail).  They can flap their wings as much as 70 times per SECOND!  That is just a bit much for the human brain to fathom.  I have an exercise to demonstrate the concept of wing beats.  I ask the Bird Nerds to stretch out and flap their "wings" as fast as they can and to count how many times they can flap within 10 seconds.  Most of the Bird Nerds could flap between 20-30 times in 10 seconds.  I like to believe it gives them a new appreciation of just how tough it can be to fly!  It's a LOT of work!

When we came back from our visit to the viewing platform, we ran into Gerry who is the maintenance manager at the museum.  He's a bird fan himself and he told us that he noticed that the juvenile Osprey was seen flapping his/her wings over the nest this morning. We thanked him and were on our way.  When we were headed back from the secret trail, I could hear a LOT of Osprey sounds and I had to guess... the baby was flying.  THIS WAS THIS BABY OSPREY'S FIRST FLIGHT!!!  We ALL got to see her/him soaring and learning how to use his wings for the very first time!  It was a moment I will never forget!  We were SO LUCKY!  The Osprey family were very vocal all communicating with each other.  I asked the Bird Nerds what they thought the parent birds were saying.  "Great flying baby!  Good job!"   Was what they all decided.  Perfect words of encouragement...

We got to sneak in a visit to the museum as well and even had a great tour through the inflatable Gray Whale.  I will miss seeing this flock each morning.  I hope they continue to enjoy the birds they encounter along their way and that they remember to share what they have learned and what they know with others so that they can pass along the Bird Nerdiness.  The birds DO appreciate it! (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
House Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher (!!!)
European Starling
Song Sparrow
Gray Catbird
Blue Jay
Northern Flicker
Osprey
Barn Swallow
American Goldfinch
Song Sparrows

Song Sparrow

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Red-winged Blackbird - female ( isn't she BEAUTIFUL?!)

Red-winged Blackbird

Learning about baleen & krill

The Junior Naturalists explain about
the whale's food & how they eat


The view from Ospreycam - the juvenile is
in the middle of the nest with wings outstretched

Red-winged Blackbird - male

Inside the inflatable Gray Whale

Asking questions about the mural


Upside down Horseshoe Crab.  S/he was kicking her/his
legs wildly!

Watching & pointing out the baby Osprey's
first flight lesson!!!

Everyone loves the viewing tank!



Whale skull

Bird Nerd Buddies on a bird walk!


Bird Nerd Salute!

What a terrific flock of Bird Nerds!

Osprey returning to the nest

Fiddler Crab - female


Fearless with a fiddler!

Curiosity on the salt marsh

Actually seeing the juvenile Osprey's VERY FIRST FLIGHT!!!

Peaceful garden trail



Enjoying the secret trail


Osprey family on the nest


Feather on the trail


Stretching out to measure a wingspan!

Eastern Kingbird

European Starling silhouettes


Checking out our wing spans and counting wing beats



Mourning Dove

Sharing photos of a Belted Kingfisher

I will miss these young Bird Nerds!  Thanks for a fun-filled feather-appreciating week!
Happy Birding young Bird Nerds!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

8.10.17 KidSummer - Birding 101 - Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Brewster, MA

We began our day with a visit to the Butterfly House.  Once again Miss Marjorie was our leader and she pointed out all of the different butterfly species.  There were several on the ground sunning themselves and you have to be very careful where you step when you're in there!  I'd never want to be guilty of harming a butterfly, even if it were accidental!  The young Bird Nerds were very respectful and were great listeners.  

It's a good idea to take advantage of museum time when the crowds aren't too crazy and we headed indoors to visit Bird Alley, choose a bird and then illustrate that bird.  I only give about 20 minutes time to complete this task because we are a big bunch and we take up a lot of space in Bird Alley.  I want museum guests to be able to enjoy this incredible exhibit as well.  Don't miss the art created!  I don't blame them all for keeping their illustrated birds, they were BEAUTIFUL!

Off again on another bird walk and today was particularly hot.  I did my best to keep us in the shade.  There was a lot of enthusiasm on our walk, meaning some of the Bird Nerds were making a bit too much noise for us to creep up quietly on birds on the trail.  We did manage to hear the Song Sparrow's distinct melody on our walk today.  (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
American Crow
House Sparrow
Black-capped Chickadee
American Goldfinch
Osprey
Barn Swallow
Tree Swallow
Song Sparrow
Blue Jay
Waiting to enter the Butterfly House

Miss Marjorie - our wonderful Butterfly lady!


Painted Lady Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly


Caterpillars feasting away

These Monarchs are loving this hydrangea


American Crow

Eastern Kingbird

Watching for House Sparrows should they decide
to take a dust bath in the archeology dig exibit

House Sparrow - female

House Sparrow - female

Setting up in Bird Alley




Snowy Owl



Northern Cardinal

American Goldfinch



Great Blue Heron

Northern Cardinal

Northern Gannett

Snowy Owl

Great Blue Heron

Baltimore Oriole

American Goldfinch (woopsie on the flash reflection...)

Scarlet Tanager

Northern Cardinal

Snowy Owl

Osprey



John Wing Monument on Wing Island

Taking a bird walk break overlooking Paine's Creek





Found feathers!

Butterflies

Eastern Kingbird





Happy Birding young Bird Nerds!