Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nature Study Moment

Monday morning, I went for a walk before the kids were ready for the day. I was able to identify the sounds of a woodpecker knocking on someone's tree, a Carolina wren tea-kettling, a tufted titmouse singing, and a mockingbird chattering away. It was lovely! I heard lots of other birds I couldn't identify yet, but I'm working on it.

I also found a Northern Flicker at the side of the road, so I brought it home to show the kids. I think the neighbor's cats got it, but it wasn't bloody or anything.

Such a beautiful bird! I had never seen one before. I looked it up in our bird book, and there are two kinds: red-shafted and yellow-shafted. I found one of the yellow-shafted variety.

Look at that beautiful wing! I loved the heart-shaped spots on its belly near the tail. And that beak - I am glad it wasn't aiming at me.

Poor thing, I couldn't leave it by the side of the road. My dad used to bring stuff home for my brother, sister and me to see all the time when I was growing up. He brought home a baby skunk once! My mom was less impressed with that one. We found two small owls in the road once - apparently they'd been chasing each other and been hit by a car.

How often do you get to see a wild bird up close? We have bird feeders, and we all love to watch the birds outside, but this was a great opportunity to observe details we wouldn't otherwise be able to see. This was a big bird - much heavier than I had expected.

I am not the only homeschooler who brings home dead things. :-D Have you found any cool stuff on your nature walks and brought it home for futher exploration?

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