A new flock of bird nerds has arrived! They are TOTALLY into this bird loving hobby & I can't wait to watch their progress over the week! We introduced ourselves and got to know a few species from the bird memory game. Their birdocular construction was a success as well! I love working with recycled materials and birdoculars are a wonderful way to include conservation into a conversation about why and how they work, and what materials we are reusing in order to construct them. This is also engineering & it's surprising how such contruction can be somewhat frustrating, stapling, cutting twine, tying knots... not things you necessarily do each day when your 7-12 years old! I also use the birdoculars as name tags - one less material being used. The bird nerds were ready to head out on our first bird walk to put their new tool to the test!
It's impossible to complain about the weather we've had here on Cape Cod this summer, certainly the days and weeks that I've had young bird nerds to walk with and enjoy bird watching with! The bird nerds discovered quickly how well their new tool worked when spotting American Goldfinches and Gray Catbirds on our walk. Be sure to check out our list below of all the species we saw and heard. Before our walk, one youngster asked if they could play Telephone Operator while we waited for the group to visit the bathroom before we headed out. I forgot how much fun, and how hilarious, that game could be. Being around kids often reminds you of just HOW MUCH FUN it can be to be a KID! This is a FUN BUNCH! So I got to participate in the game and my clue was: "Baby Bluebirds have speckles"...when this phrase was whispered to the end of the bird nerd line, it turned out to be: "Baby blues wear house freckles." !!! AWESOME.
It's tough to be quiet on a bird walk - because it IS exciting! - especially when you start seeing and hearing species after species! I got to hear some bird stories already, which included the correct names of young ducks (ducklings) and young swans (cygnets). I was impressed! I HAVE to mention "Make Way For Ducklings" as soon as ducks come up in conversation. It makes me happy when bird nerds are aware of this wonderful children's book by Robert McCloskey. I remember it being read to me as a child by my parents & just adoring the story. No trip to the Public Garden in Boston is complete without visiting the statues of Mrs.Mallard & her 8 ducklings! Maybe it's a provincial thing...
I also have to mention that one of the bird nerds asked me to guess what her favorite owl was... it took me several guesses, but turns out, it's the Barn Owl. Nice choice!
We are on our way this week for Birding 101! (double click photos to enlarge)
Finishing touches on birdoculars
Poison Ivy - stay AWAY from this stuff!
Bird Nerds on the marsh boardwalk
House Sparrow - female
Using the birdoculars
American Goldfinch - male
Such an inviting trail
How DOES this solar calendar work?
Someone's been munching
Watching the Osprey soar on the thermals in the distance
Subtle but beautiful purple flowers on the saltmarsh
Blurry photo of Northern Cardinal - male
Happy Birding young BIRD NERDS!!!