Saturday, April 23, 2011

Celebrating Urban Birds Nature Study

Tromping through the woods and exploring nature has been very important in our journeys this past week. Each day we were outside exploring and learning something new.

We discovered several bird nests in our front yard!

We kicked off our week by receiving in the mail our Cornell Lab of Ornithology – The Celebration of Urban Birds Project. I must stay this has been something that my daughters have enjoyed a great deal. So much, that they have decided they want to start a nature/bird journal where they can sit outside on a blanket and draw what they see in their journals.  We live in an older neighborhood, so it is not as loud as other neighborhoods might be, and watching the different birds in our backyard has been fun. The girls discovered that we have cardinals, house sparrows, finches, bluejays, doves, and blackbirds. 
We had one bird that we were not familiar with in terms of appearance when he/she was sitting in our crabapple tree. The girls and I got our bird book that was once my great aunts resource on her tomato farm, and by process of elimination we figured out what kind of bird it was. The girls enjoyed “solving” the mystery of the bird in the crabapple tree.
In the middle of the week we packed a lunch and headed to a local county park that has nice woods to explore and began the journey uncovering differences in the woods. We learned about tree stumps/logs rotting and how this is “home” to many other small creatures. Seeing mushrooms growing and forming on the stumps and rotten logs; holes in the trees up high were animals (probably owls) live and other birds. My youngest daughter was fascinated by the delicate white and purple flowers growing along the trail.
Mushrooms growing beside a log/stump.

Moss growing on a tree stump. Learning about it being a "home" for other bugs.


  1. What a great learning experience. My little guy likes to feel the moss on our trees too. Right now he is much more interested in the "bugs" than birds but I can't wait to do this sort of project with him. Thanks for sharing.

  2. My oldest has no problem with bugs. My youngest, use to love bugs just like your little one but now all of a sudden she just doesn't want anything to do with them unless they are those "pill" bugs. I am not sure what their real name is...and have always called them that. They love making mud cake and mud pies! We had a huge mud bake the other day :) hahah what fun!