Monday, August 3, 2015

8.3.15 - Cape Cod Museum Of Natural History - KidSummer - Birding 101
Brewster, MA

Welcome new bird nerds!  I had some familiar faces in this group, which always makes for an adventurous week, because I get to test their knowledge and they can help me out when needed!  We briefly discussed some tips about how to be a better birdwatcher and we constructed our birdoculars for our walk.  We didn't have to get very far once we got outside before the birds were coming at us seemingly from every direction!  
An Eastern Kingbird was perched RIGHT over our heads when we started out!  I didn't dare tell them that last year we had an Eastern Kingbird divebomb one of the bird nerds at KidSummer last year...  a moment to REMEMBER!  We all cracked up about it right after.   I can't imagine any of us forgetting that!  
So - we were able to make it over the marsh, all the while admiring the swallows' acrobatics & flying so close by!  One of the KidSummer Kids mentioned that the swallows "looks like a bird in the circus!"  I couldn't agree more!  Looking forward to a full week full of many birds this Birding 101 KidSummer week! (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
Black-capped Chickadee
Osprey
Eastern Kingbird
House Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
European Starling
Gray Catbird
American Robin
Barn Swallow
Red-winged Blackbird
Song Sparrow
American Goldfinch
Mourning Dove
Red-tailed Hawk 
Tufted Titmouse
Tree Swallow
Brown-headed Cowbird

Checking out Black-capped Chickadees with birdoculars

Eastern Kingbird - RIGHT above us!

Eastern Kingbird

Birdocular skills

House Sparrow - female

House Sparrow - male

Northern Cardinal - female (my camera focused on vegetation instead of her.  Rats.)

Eastern Kingbird - great silhouette!

Gray Catbirds


Pointing out Poison Ivy.  We don't like poison ivy...

Osprey silhouetttes

Red-winged Blackbird - female (tough to see, on nest box)


Some sort of debris (egg case?) on the marsh grass

Brown-headed Cowbirds

Happy Birding KidSummer Kids!

Friday, July 31, 2015

7.31.15 - Bird Walks - Camp Wingate*Kirkland - Yarmouthport, MA

Another walk at this fantastic camp!  The first hour we spent playing Food Chain Tag with the daycampers.  I think they enjoyed it, kids LOVE tag!  Besides, it's great getting that energy out and at the same time, maybe they're thinking of the lesson I do my best to infuse in it.  We picked to "predators" who had to tag their "prey".   Each "prey" had either a healthy token (yellow bottle cap) or a toxic token (red or orange bottle cap).  The predators could pursue their prey until they'd accumulated 3 toxic tokens.  This game is used to explain bioaccumulation and how pesticides, even in small amounts, eventually add up and have the potential for long lasting damage upon animals in the food chain.  

Healthy & "Toxic" tokens in Food Chain Tag

On to another bird walk for the next group and we were able to explore some trails that I hadn't yet.  We had a surprise visit from a Gray Catbird too, who seemed to be figuring out how dangerous we were or were not.  As soon as I raised my camera to snap a photo s/he backed off, but I was able to get a few great shots of her/him.  I'm guessing a juvenile, given the proximity to us!  It was fun to watch & listen to!  (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
Song Sparrow
Common Grackle
Grey Catbird
Tufted Titmouse
Northern Cardinal
American Crow
American Robin
Black-capped Chickadee
Northern Flicker

Found bird from "Put A Bird On It"

Song Sparrow foraging in the field

Song Sparrow

Gray Catbird





Common Grackle & American Robin

American Robins & Common Grackle

Common Grackle

Tufted Titmouse - juvenile

Tufted Titmouse - juvenile

Happy Birding Camp W*K!
7.31.15 - Cape Cod Museum Of Natural History - KidSummer - Birding 101
Brewster, MA

What a morning!  A hugely successful bird walk counting 27 different species that we were able to identify!  The photos of some of the birds are less than great.  On part of the walk, we marched through Mosquito City and I do NOT have the gift of focusing my camera on a moving bird when mosquitos are buzzing in BOTH ears.  I'm not that focused!  We had a wonderfully long walk, finally reaching the beach to be rewarded with the raucous calls of gulls and mostly terns.  What a sight & sound!  It is not always the case when you arrive.  That is one of the natural gifts you often receive when you make it to Cape Cod Bay.  It's always different among the tides, the sights, the sounds, the seasons...  It is a location I feel I will never tire of.  The KidSummer Kids felt the same.  I could tell.   It was tough to head back to the museum, although we had planned to review eBird and record our findings of the day.  I had already created an account filled with our bird lists from the week.  The KidSummer Kids worked together to enter the bird lists from our walk that morning.  They can continue to do so if they wish, making contributions to Citizen Science, an important field that grows and grows.

Thank YOU KidSummer Kids, for a memorable and special week!  I won't soon forget it and hope to hear of your feathery adventures in the future!  
(double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
Blue Jay
Osprey
Barn Swallow
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Red-winged Blackbird
Northern Cardinal
House Sparrow
Herring Gull
Song Sparrow
American Crow
Mourning Dove
Tree Swallow
American Robin
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Northern Mockingbird (one of the birds of the day)
Northern Flicker
Great Black-backed Gull
Laughing Gull
Willet (the other bird of the day)
Common Tern (&other terns?  Tough to ID from my distant photos)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Kingbird

Blue Jay

Northern Cardinal silhouette

Birdwatching over the marsh

Osprey

American Robin

Gray Catbird

American Crow

Osprey droppings...a LOT

Hairy Woodpecker

Water source for birds when water is scarce, rain drops on a leaf

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

Through the dunes

...to Cape Cod Bay



Laughing Gulls & Herring Gulls

Terns

Reaching for a Hermit Crab

Got 'im

Great black-backed Gulls & Herring Gulls & Laughing Gulls...OH MY!

Terns & Gulls

Common Tern (adult & juvenile), Ring-billed Gulls, Herring Gulls

American Robin - juvenile

Can you spot the tail of a Tufted Titmouse?

Eastern Kingbird

Osprey

I'm sure gonna miss these KidSummer Kids!  Maybe I'll see some of their own listings on eBird!   Happy Birding and Happy Summer KidSummer Kids!