Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

On Friday, my parents took my suggestion to visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Sapsucker Woods. You might be familiar with the Lab of Ornithology. They sponsor the Great Backyard Bird Count each February. Hard to believe we've never been. Time gets away from you when you are having babies and have young kids. This seemed like a good idea for the week and it went really well. Now I can't wait to return in the spring when the birds are coming back to town. Maybe my mom and dad will join us. Seems to me a great place for a nature photographer to hang out.

They have quite a lot of programming at the Lab of Ornithology with the largest library of bird calls in the world.

They took a walk on the Wilson Trail 3/4 mile around a pond. It should be noted that J3 made it all the way around even though half way he announced he had to use the potty. Did I mention he's been wearing underwear for two weeks?? I don't want to get too confident, but I think our last child just might be potty trained. That. Is. Awesome. tails one of my favorites. I keep telling Dan we ought to transplant some to our ditch at the front of our yard. Beats mowing it and think of the little wetland habitat we could develop. I think that would be way better than a traditional garden. I'm just sayin'.

Canada Geese are handsome even if they are a common nuisance to water front owners and park patrons. Remember those bright fall leaves we had a few weeks ago? Welcome to November!!

Of course there are feeders. Somehow I thought I'd chosen a picture with the bird facing us. But I sure did like the look of the sky in this one.

The path- I bet they are beautiful in the spring and summer.

Kinda boggy...reminds me of Cranberry Thanksgiving

...and even MORE boggy...good thing there is a raised, wood chipped path with occasional board walks.

The bonus to all the special time with their grandparents was the gift shop. Did I ever tell you how much my kids like bird call CDs?? I have to admit I enjoy them too. Now I know which birds are all around us all the time. My personal favorite is our resident red tailed hawk. We hear his call often right in the trees around our house. Now I just need a snake in my yard and maybe the mice woudn't be so noticable!
The kids are very excited about their new field guides and I've read the meadow and log book a million times already. This morning E10 and R8 were having a contest to see who could reference a bird the quickest in their respective field guides. R8 had to do the calling because she has the more limiting book (her words not mine). I think we'll have to go back for more bird CDs! There is one that matches the bird of NY book and of course we need one for birds of prey. They all took their books and insisted on listening to the Backyard birds on a car trip yesterday. We received some awesome instruction on bird calls and songs. I can tell this will be a favorite on errand days.

Crazy you say? Perhaps, but they remember it. My parents reported that there was a program going on in the building with slides of various birds. The presenter included our kids and J3 was naming a bunch correctly. The woman had to stop and ask him his age. He replied matter of factly, "I'm three." He's currently chatting about all the things you can find under a log and naming the kinds of leaves on the ground under those animals.

Thanks again Mom and Dad! Come again soon!! Next time I'll join you!

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