Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bird Experiment 1: What do Our Backyard Birds Eat?

Do you get Homeschool Enrichment Magazine? They always have fun features like Inventions that Changed the World, Unit Study, Adventures in History and Try It! among others. This month in the Try It! feature they have an experiment you can do to find out about the birds in your backyard.

E11 took to the computer to make his data chart. He started with an excel type spreadsheet in Open Office and then decided to switch to a word processing version to make a table. Not sure why all of his table isn't showing...I'll keep working on that mystery. For now here's a peek. He has a grid for the whole thing though it does not appear that way.

Bird Experiment Spreadsheet

Then we put the food sources out in the yard. As you can see we spread them out and I threw in our crocus too. crocus. But it is lovely.
We set this up yesterday morning and this morning the food was gone. Except for the bread crumbs. No one like those!

The only problem...we didn't see anything take the food. Since our data collection included details of which birds like what, this is a problem for our young scientists.

So, today we are regrouping and trying to figure out how to modify our experiment to get the observations we want.

We're also predicting what stole the whole suet cake. My money is on the crows. Today we should keep our eye out for an overly energetic crow which has a taste for apple suet. Maybe I need to spring for the suet cage at $1.47. Ahem.


Samvach said...

It might not be a bird at all that took the whole suet cake. More likely, a racoon carried them off. We have to take our suet cakes out of the feeder during the spring and summer in the evening or they are ALWAYS gone in the morning.

Heather said...

that's what my dad said Sam, but I don't know...raccoons in my yard?

Anonymous said...

We had a squirrel eat our suet cake right out of the suet cage. All we found was a pile of crumbs on the deck. We didn't see him the first time, but when I replaced it, sure enough, he showed us how he did it.

Maybe it wasn't birds at all who ate the other things too. The young scientists have a mystery to solve (and then E and R can write a mystery book and illustrate it!)

love, Grandma

Heather said... do we catch the critter eating? We are either playing in the yard so no birds partake or we are sleeping!

Well with the weather being so nice and all that...Ahem.

That's a slight exaggeration. We've been doing some fun school as well. :)