Saturday, January 31, 2009

Winter Birding

We're at the end of January- already! Time flies in the dead of winter. Am I right? I heard recently that until this week at least there had only been 7 days without snowfall since November. Readers from the south...doesn't that sound blissful?? I'll take it though. I love to watch the snow quietly fall and what is winter without snow? November friends. Six months of November. I prefer the brightness of the snow even though it's messy sometimes. All I need is my LLBean parka and my snow tires. Then it's all good.

When it's super cold out and snow play is out, we like to watch the birds. We have a pair of spruce trees (which J3 affectionately refers to as "funny trees") which the chickadees just adore. We also have a pair of cardinals and lots of crows. I hear a hawk now and then when the hunting is good. We've seen a downy woodpecker and some blue jays and even a tufted titmouse. All this without a feeder!! Just think how many more visitors we could get. I'm just not sure I'm ready to be an enabler. I've seen this in action. Just ask my parents. I think they feed an entire forest of birds down there in West Virginia and they get pesky when you don't refill the feeders. Then there's the whole squirrel defense detail. I just don't think I can take on one more living creature demanding meals from me.

Nope. We take what we get and we rejoice over it! The Great Backyard Bird Count will be fun even if we don't get tons of birds. It will give an excuse to stare out the window for extraordinary amounts of time!

Currently, J3's favorite book- Stranger in the Woods. He loves to name the birds. I love to hear him say certain words- one of my favorites is rutabaga- the other is chickadee! The authors of this book have a few more books like it and a website with a few free activities and some curriculum items to purchase. What a great time to have a little winter nature fun.

Some of our birding resources- you might remember we also added the CD that goes with the Birds of NY book. I don't know about yours, but my kids love bird call CDs.

Look out for the bird count!

Kidwings- a place for researching birds and the home of the virtual owl pellet dissection

Great Backyard Bird Count- coming right up. It's a chance to do some informal bird watching and data from all over the country is available and that could make for some awesome data analysis- we're talking graphs, statistics, the works!

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- world renowned for their bird call collection and work with birds. They co-sponsor the Big Backyard Bird Count and they are in our backyard. Lots of bird news here too.

All About Birds- online bird identification from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology


The Organic Nest said...

Thank you so much for all the great info you put on your blog! It is TRULY a blessing to me. What part of NY do you live in? We are in Rochester. We too, are not brave enough to feed the birds because we have the craziest squirrels in our yard. They have taken apart throw pillows that I have on my lawn chairs in summer and my hubby was quite miffed that they managed to confiscate his basketball hoop netting. Come winter when our huge tree was bare we could see bits of our stuff woven into their cozy nest! Stinkers! Have fun bird watching :) ~Jenny

AOP said...

Hello Heather, my name is Kristi Gesink and I work for the Homeschooling Company ALpha Omega Publications. I read through your blog and noticed that you used our Math Horizons Curriculum as part of the tools you use to teach your children. We would like to say thank you for mentioning our curriculum on your blog and would appreciate very much if you would please post a link from your blog to our site at That way if any of your readers and friends want to check out your curriculum they just have to click on it!

Thanks again and if you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to email me at

Thanks and have a fantastic day!
Kristi Gesink