Friday, October 30, 2015

10.30.15 - For The Birds Enrichment - Wixon Innovation School - Dennis, MA

What's the best way to spend your last class of the week when you're a 4th or 5th grader?  Why running around outside of course!  Toxic Tag (a game of chase used to illustrate bioaccumulation of toxins in birds' diet) was such a hit last week, these bird nerds asked to play it again - so we did just that.  Before the game began and we were walking to the field with our binoculars, we spotted 2 birds in the very same tree we'd seen the American Robin in last week.  2 American Robins were checking out this pretty tree, but not for it's beauty - for it's food offerings.  This tree ( I suppose I should learn which kind of tree it is... ) is covered, WAS covered last week, in bright red berries.  American Robins, a type of thrush, love berries of all kinds and rely on them as a food supply.  Another well-loved thrush was lurking in the other branches... Eastern Bluebirds!  THREE of them!  
One of the students got so excited, he approached the tree too loudly and quickly.  The birds flew off to protect themselves, so sadly I didn't get a great photo.  Patience and quiet - two VERY difficult practices when you're full of "it's the WEEKEND energy" are attributes we will continue to promote so that we will see an hear more birds during this enrichment.  Looking forward to another week... hopefully with more warm sunshine.  Here comes November!  (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List: 
American Robin
Eastern Bluebird
Black-capped Chickadee
Blue Jay

American Robins

That blue blur in the center of the photo is an Eastern Bluebird 
best I could do today...

Showing our knowledge of Old Man's Beard lichen

Toxic tag in the upper field

A new "predator" for Toxic Tag

"Prey" fleeing from the "predator"

Not all "prey" can fly away... check out these amphibian "prey".
Somehow they managed to elude the "predator" for quite some time.

When the "predator" strikes and we run out of "food" the prey "dies" too.

Lucky "amphibian prey" enjoying the sunshine.

The "predator" is closing in on her "prey".

Too many toxins for this "predator". 
She's a goner.

The next "predator" ready to hunt for "prey".

Toxic Tag - a Friday afternoon favorite!

Happy Birding young bird nerds!  See you in a week!

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