Saturday, February 20, 2010

Backyard Bird Count/Robin Study

I've been shamefully neglecting our nature studies lately, but BeachPea has fallen in love with robins this season, and begged me to let us do a study of them. Well, anytime a child BEGS me to do anything school-ish, especially on one of our first almost warm and sunny days in like, a million years, then of course I'm going to drop everything else and get to studying those robins!

We read a little about robins in The Handbook of Nature Study (we're still using the free online version - one of these days I'm going to buy the actual book). Then the kids headed out with their binoculars and bird guides in search of robins.


Lil' Diva got tired of waiting to see one, and retired inside with her butterfly guide (we were out of bird books)

Of course, we saw plenty of robins earlier in the week, but they were hiding from us yesterday. We had almost given up our search when we finally found this pair hiding near the woods...



You know, I didn't even realize that male and female robins had different markings? Bad homeschool teacher. I guess I had always only noticed the funny, cartoonish males with their fat orange bellies.


But BeachPea and I were both taken with how graceful and pretty the slender-er females are.


that's why BeachPea decided to draw the girl for her nature sketch.




We also participated last week in the Great Backyard Birdcount.

The February Fury blew in just before the event and I was a little worried we might not get to participate.

But it cleared out pretty quickly and left us with lots of hungry birds to count (including this adorable house sparrow, a Lorienna newcomer this year).

I love red cardinals against a winter background.

Carolina Chickadee - one of my favorites

Tufted Titmouse (another Lorienna favorite)

Here's our final count during the Great Backyard Bird Count weekend:

Sunday:
  • Cardinal - 2
  • Carolina Chickadee - 2
  • junco - 3
  • sparrow (not sure of the type - song? fox?)
  • white-throated sparrow - 2
  • house finch - 5
  • dove - 2
  • blue jay
  • robin

Monday:
(fun because we had some new visitors arrive)
  • american goldfinch - 2
  • chipping sparrows - 2 (while out walking that day we found one of these fluttering on the ground with a giant tick on its head (ew!). We were able to catch it and pull the tick off. The girls were thrilled to be able to see it up close (the sparrow, not the tick). Went out later to check on it and it was gone, so hopefully it was able to eventually fly off. Don't know if the tick was affecting it's flying or not...?)
  • house finch - 5
  • carolina chickadee - 2
  • house sparrow
  • tufted titmouse - 2
  • blackbirds - 50 gazillion
  • blue jay
  • cardinal - 4
  • white throated sparrow
  • mourning doves - 2

Of course, one of the best things about bird watching is that it gets us outside

even if we're not watching birds the whole time


our bird count was pretty low compared to what we'll get in the Spring.

can't wait for all those little nests to be filled again.

You can find tons of other bird studies over at Barb's Handbook of Nature Study blog.

2 comments:

  1. Sigh, it makes me smile to hear that your daughter is interested in robins and *wants* to learn more about them. Personal observations and then recording some of her thoughts are going to be a great boost to her love of robins.

    This is a great entry and I appreciate you sharing your link.

    Would you please submit this to the OHC Blog Carnival?http://blogcarnival.com/bc/cprof_9182.html

    Also, can I use one of your images as the OHC Photo of the Week? Let me know...harmonyfinearts@yahoo.com.

    Thanks,
    Barb

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really enjoyed reading this post! My favorite bird is the tufted titmouse. Holly

    ReplyDelete

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