Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday Nature Study

This morning while they were having breakfast the kids spotted a pair of birds outside the kitchen window. Blakester pointed out the star-like markings on them and Lulu was quick to find them in our field guide. They were European Starlings. We tried to get a photo for our journals but they didn't hang around very long.

Since our focus is still on birds, we chose hummingbirds to read about in our Handbook of Nature Study. We learned some new facts about them, including that they do not survive on nectar alone. They are well equipped to eat insects, sometimes catching them in mid-flight. You just never know what one will learn new each day.

This afternoon the sun was shining beautifully so we took a short walk around our property and down the canal bank hoping to see something new for our nature study. Since it is still cold, there's not a lot out and about. We did spot a pair of our Anna's Hummingbirds at our feeder again. We were not the only ones that spotted them:

Way above our treetops we found a flock of Ring-Billed Gulls. The kids wanted to know what they were doing here, since we live about 2 hours from the nearest coastline. Our field guide informed us that these gulls are found all over California during the winter, usually in garbage dumps and parking lots. They are mostly scavengers.

Conman added this little cone to his collection. I did a serious search on the net and I think it belongs to a tree from the Cypress family.

That was our nature study today. The kids still need to log in their findings and we need to decide if we want to take the Outdoor Hour Challenge for this week. We are on #7 and the challenge is to make our own field guides. I need to run it by the kids and see what their opinion is on this project before I go gung ho!

Till tomorrow-

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