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Spy Wednesday Supper

Everyday Nature: Backyard Birds & Beyond


An updated list for Spring, 2007:

Birds we see regularly:

  • chickadees
  • mourning doves
  • slate-colored juncos
  • northern cardinals
  • tufted titmice
  • blue jays
  • sparrows (a variety)
  • goldfinches
  • purple finches
  • Carolina wren
  • white-breasted nuthatch
  • downey woodpecker
  • American crow
  • American robin
  • mockingbirds

Birds we see occasionally:

  • wild turkeys
  • grackles
  • starlings
  • red-winged blackbirds (hear them more often than see them)
  • hawks (in flight)
  • turkey vultures (in flight)

Birds we hope to see again:

  • hermit thrush
  • eastern towhee
  • Baltimore orioles
  • red-breasted nuthatch
  • house wren
  • scarlet tanager
  • brown headed cowbirds
  • bats (which are not birds, but somehow fit here)

A presence detected, not seen:

  • owl (heard, not seen)
  • wood ducks (nest observed)

Our bird wish list:

  • cedar waxwings
  • phoebes
  • swallows
  • rose-breasted grosbeak
  • pheasant

A few ideas for the upcoming weeks:

  • Take down and clean out all birdfeeders. (Good tips here.)
  • Set up a bird bath or other water supply.
  • Schedule a trip to a local birdfeeding store. The seed sold here is usually of a much higher quality than the bags you pick up at the superstore (less filler and debris). Also, you can pick the brains of the shop owners, who are more than likely bird enthusiasts with a wealth of knowledge to share. Talk with them about spring feeding and show them your wish list. Ask for suggestions on specific feed and plantings.
  • Here's a great bird-fruit chart.
  • Hang a hummingbird feeder.
  • Before the trees bud out, take a nest walk. Bring along the binoculars (and the camera, of course) and look for nests in the treetops and brush.
  • Plan a trip to the pond to observe swans, ducks or geese nesting (from a distance).

A home bird study tip: We use coloring books (such as this one and this) to aid in our bird study. If we see a bird, we look it up in the coloring book, photocopy the page, color it in, and add it to the nature notebook with notes from the sighting. A lovely online bird coloring book is here.

Another bird study tip: A fun rabbit trail (and/or lapbook) would be to learn all about your state bird. I'll bet you already know, but you can find out what yours is here. Explore birds of all the states with this coloring book - that would be a fun history lesson, and it would just beg for homemade flash cards. :)

A very useful birding tool: The Birdsong Identiflyer

Two books I ordered recently to replace this one, which has fallen apart (literally):

We just love birds around here! Before I go, may I ask, if you have the time, to leave the name of your favorite bird in the comments section below? Bookworm is making up a chart (you know how he loves charts) and would like to add your information. (And if you're coming to Easter dinner, prepare to be grilled!)

Have a blessed day, my friends!

"Kiss of the sun for pardon. Song of the birds for mirth. You are closer to God's heart in a garden, than anywhere else on earth." (Dorothy Frances Gurney)