Thursday, August 3, 2017

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

We had a busy day planned and our first excitement was visiting the butterfly house.  This exhibit was new last year and they have added some new native butterfly species.  It's always a big hit and you never know when a butterfly will decide to land on YOU!  We even got to observe a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis!  It sure looked like hard work!

We even had a surprise visit from a rescued injured baby box turtle.  (S/he has been treated by a veterinarian and is hopefully on a healthy mend.)  Off to Bird Alley in the lower level of the museum to choose a bird to illustrate and learn more about.  I'm always curious to learn who chooses which species to draw.  I just love the artwork... sometimes I even get to keep it!  

Our bird walk was SPECTACULAR today, spotting more than 20 species and once we arrived at the beach... the beautiful sounds of the terns along the shore were just so relaxing!  There was about a 20 foot radius of 8 separate species all sharing the space on the shore, sharing the food, sharing the world.  They seemed to be coexisting so very well. That's something we humans need to take note of when it's so natural, on occasion, for the birds. (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
House Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
American Crow
Common Grackle
Osprey
Black-capped Chickadee
Barn Swallow
Eastern Kingbird
Salt-marsh Sparrow
American Goldfinch
Song Sparrow
Cedar Waxwing
Tree Swallow
Ring-billed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Laughing Gull
Common Tern
Semipalmated Plover
Greater Yellowlegs
Semipalmated Sandpiper European Starlings
Butterflies are extremely important pollinators

Marjorie the butterfly expert letting us know
what to expect inside the museum's Butterfly House

Box Turtle - juvenile


Toads deserve shelter in a garden

Butterfly on the Butterfly Bush!

Monarchs, both female & male


Monarchs feasting on rotting fruit,
very bouquet-like

Emerging from the chrysalis

Monarch Butterfly caterpillar (about 4 days old)




BIRD FOOD!  Another bug we encountered...

Illustrating in Bird Alley





Blue Jay

Saw Whet Owl

Northern Cardinal - male

Peregrine Falcon

Belted Kingfisher


Osprey - female

Sea Lavender sprinkled all over the salt marsh


Eastern Kingbird


Pointing out the juniper berries

We're going to make it to the ocean today!

Eastern Kingbird in flight
Notice the white all along the tips of the tail feathers
That is a great field mark for distinguishing them 

Cedar Waxwing!!!

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Skate egg case
AKA Mermaid's Purse

Laughing Gull - juvenile, Common Tern - juvenile
Herring Gull & Semipalmated Plovers

Great Black-backed Gull & one Herring Gull

Common Terns, pruning their feathers

Piping Plover
(bummed it's a blurry photo)

Piping Plover & Semipalmated Plover

Great Black-backed Gull

Common Tern - juveniles

Crow tracks in the sand

Semipalmated Plover & Semipalmated Sandpiper

Ring-billed Gull

Semipalmated Plover (lower left), Greater Yellowlegs (top), Common Tern - juvenile (middle)

Semipalmated Plover & Greater Yellowlegs

Common Terns, Laughing Gulls & a Herring Gull

Laughing Gull & Semipalmated Plover

Bird Nerds on a very successful bird walk!



Eastern Kingbirds (juvenile is on the right)
We got to see him/her catch a dragonfly in flight!



Whelk egg case found on the edge of the salt marsh

Eastern Chipmunk with FULL cheek pouches!

One more day to look forward to with this group of KidSummer Bird Nerds!

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