Monday, September 24, 2007

birds birds everywhere!

We've been enjoying more birdwatching as the days get cooler here in alberta. The kids will sit for 10 min at a time, silently watching the feeder out our front window. I love seeing their curiosity and attention span develop. They have even made their own birdfeeder (from a taco box with some pinecones rolled in peanut butter and birdseed... I asked her if she wanted to paint the box, but she said that then the birds wouldn't know it was for food because the taco picture wouldn't be on it)

Today, I was greeted with 'shhh's when I came downstairs because they were 'watching the nuthatches'. Sure enough, there were 3 nuthatches at the feeder. I'm so excited they are learning to identify the different birds.
Each day we've been watching the blue jay, the nuthatches (red breasted), the chickadees, some sparrows, a black squirrel and a grey squirrlel come and go. Today we were treated to a new suprise: a flock of new birds we've never seen before... the males had red heads and breasts, and the females were white and brown striped along their tummies.

Looking through our bird books, we think we have identified them as house finches, although my guide says they don't come this far north.... we showed them :-)

Last week, we were lucky to have a butterfly land on the windowsill to warm it's wings when the clouds came out. He sat their long enough for E to identify him on our butterfly poster, and then draw a picture of him. Beautiful! We even learned what the catterpillar looks like.

In science, we are reading about the desert, and E has been busy drawing pictures of desert toads and tadpoles (did you know that some of them hibernate for 11 months of the year and only come out during the rainy season?? now that is quality sleep!!).

I love all these extras of schooling. The spelling and the math are oh-so-necessary, but the science and the real learning that happens throughout the day are really fun.


Angel said...

My resident bird expert says that it is indeed a house finch. :-)

aunt val said...

Tell E that I love her butterfly. The eyes are gorgeous and so expressive.