Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bird Habitat on the Homefront

I've mentioned before that we are part of the Connecting Kids through Birds program sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It's an 11 lesson program all about birds using Wiki Pages to get information and share information with other classrooms using the program. The social aspect is somewhat appealing, but not as fun for us as just doing the lessons and learning about the lives of birds. We need to update our Wiki Page with pictures of our habitat and possibly these maps. In order to complete the program, I need to complete five more of the 11 lessons. We are making steady progress.

R11 added some nice detail- including naming all the different plants we have. I love the extra room she gave our deck- if only!

J6 working on his habitat map

I9's map

Not bad for a first grader's map!
I usually leave time for Nature Study on Fridays and I hope to explore another lesson tomorrow. Our topic will be Obstacles to Migration. We're going to play a fun game to illustrate just how hard it is for birds to have a safe and successful migration. I'm also hoping to combine some bird migration maps with Google Earth and do some calculating of percentages of birds who are successful each year.

In case you haven't seen some of the resources supported by the Lab of Ornithology, here are a few to enjoy:

All About Birds

Bird Sleuth- some resources and curriculum for homeschoolers to purchase

What Bird.com

eBird- let's you record bird sitings year round

Birds are pretty easy to observe and track year round. As part of our Bird Habitat study, I think I will encourage the kids to grow some plants next spring which will attract some species of birds. The study we are a part of suggests it and I was reading a lovely magazine today called Birds and Blooms. It gave me some great ideas on where to start and gave me a clue as to why the birds love our Blue Spruce tree in the front yard.

How many of you are birders?

2 comments:

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

I love my backyard birds. Even more, I love to learn about my backyard birds. :)

Someday I am going to make it to NY and get to Cornell. I am hoping someday comes soon!

Thanks Heather for sharing your project. Great maps!

Kisha said...

I always get inspired by reading your blog and seeing the different things you do with your kids. Great work!