Monday, November 16, 2009

Autumn Nature Study: Woodpeckers (and bird feet)

We've been doing some of the autumn nature studies this season at the Handbook of Nature Study Blog. Barb has a lot of very nice resources linked over there. I've often thought of doing an investigation on bird beaks illustrating how they are made for the food that is a particular bird's diet, but this was an easy lesson with the feet.

First we took a nice walk and listened for as many birds as we could hear. We have observed the geese flying south and the increased activity of the birds that wills stay with us all winter- chickadees, blue jays and cardinals. Well and how can I forget the crows?! It was a fun day time activity on my birthday last week.

First we used this sheet on bird feet to do some matching. This one belongs to J4. He and I talked about the different birds and their feet and he correctly matched them.

All the kids drew some pictures of bird feet just like at the Handbook of Nature Study blog. I did one too and it turned out well. E11 wanted to add examples of birds with that type of foot.

We thought it would be fun to listen to the Downy Woodpecker as we worked. We heard the Yellow Bellied Sapsucker too. We know we've heard that one! This is one great little book. If you are into nature studies and birds, see if they have one for your state. I7 has requested his own copy the next time we go to the Lab of Ornithology.

Bird Coloring Book from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology- we did a page on the Downy Woodpecker as was suggested in the study. R9 reflected on what she loved about her bird book and we listened for quite a long time after the assignment was finished.
Usually we do nature study as the opportunity arises, but I think we are going to work on scheduling it once a week. I'm working on a new routine now that things with our FIRST team have settled down.


Anonymous said...

Interesting blog about your birds. I was just watching the Downy woodpeckers at our suet today..both the male and the female were at the suet and bird feeder. Also, there was a Common Flicker there yesterday. I'll have to hear some of your bird sounds because I'm not familiar with their calls. Interestingly our bird store newsletter said that we often think that the cardinals stay around all winter, when actually our summer cardinals may have traveled south and what we are seeing are cardinals from further north who have come to summer in our area. I was laughingly telling Grandpa the other day that maybe I should make little necklaces for them so I could tell if that was true. I did notice that most of our cardinals disappeared for several weeks and now we are just seeing a few at the feeder. I don't know if that is true of your cardinals since you are so far north. Enjoy those birds!
love, Grandma W.

Michelle said...

Heather, I want to do this. I need to! I loved seeing what you did and I hope you do schedule it in!

SC said...

Thanks for sharing those resource sites. We're working on the woodpecker this week, too, so those will come in handy:)

Tracey said...

Great job and thanks for all of those links. I bookmarked them to use later.

Michele said...

I love your ideas! You always inspire me to try something new. Thank you.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Wonderful nature study with birds this week. I really enjoyed seeing how your family made the study fit your area and your interests.

Love that you joined us for this one!

Barb-Harmony Art Mom