Friday, July 22, 2016

7.22.16  KidSummer Day Camp - Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Brewster, MA

On our final Birding 101 together I wanted not only to sneak in a bird walk as we do each day, but also to spend some time enjoying the wonderful museum where the programs are based.  It also helped that it's an air conditioned space and I wouldn't have to be as concerned with dehydration!  We've certainly shared some entertaining stories and accounts of bird sightings that we viewed together, or that the KidSummer Kids have experienced while they were enjoying summer with their families here on Cape.  

I was hoping that we might be fortunate enough to see a bird that we hadn't seen all week, and somehow, the universe rewarded us with... a GREAT EGRET!!!  What a sight!   S/he was flying and one of the bird nerds asked why they flew with their neck all tucked in. When we later visited Bird Alley on the lower level of the museum, I pointed out the Great Egret there along with the Great Blue Heron.  I talked about that enormous beak they have and what they use it for.  I also noted how much it probably weighed and imagine carrying all that weight in flight at the end of a long graceful neck - not too efficient.  They fly that way to conserve energy and to keep their physique more streamlined when in flight.  A beautiful design.  

We enjoyed our museum visit as well, and they truly appreciated the woodcarvings and painting in the Eldredge Arnold Room.  He was an award winning wooden carver of birds and his artistry is remarkable!  They are accurately life-sized and incredibly detailed!  The museum is lucky to have a few of his wood carvings on loan, and the Ring-necked Pheasant has been permanently donated & prominently displayed in the Marshview Room.

I'm going to miss these bird nerds.  We learned from each other, laughed together and certainly enjoyed seeing and hearing the native bird species of Brewster! (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
House Sparrow
Gray Catbird
Black-capped Chickadee
American Goldfinch 
European Starling
Barn Swallow
Red-winged Blackbird
Great Egret (!!!)
Song Sparrow
American Robin
Northern Cardinal

Testing their knowledge

The Garden Troll is frightening...


House Sparrow - male juvenile

Bird Nerds

Checking out beetle & bird damage of a fallen tree

Testing out silhouette bird ID

Recording findings in the vitrine

American Robin

Playing in the virtual sandbox, a new addition to the museum

Red-winged Blackbird

Eastern Chipmunk, adorably posing with wildflowers

Northern Cardinal - male

Checking out the artistry in the Eldredge Arnold Room

Ring-necked Pheasant

Enjoying the museum's aquatic residents

The wonders of the jellyfish

Some nature finds

Happy Birding Young Bird Nerds!  Thank you for a wonderful week!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

7.21.16  KidSummer Day Camp - Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Brewster, MA

This was another morning to add some bird inspired artwork to our week.  The museum opens at 9:30, so we do get about a half an hour to ourselves as KidSummer campers arrive.  I love to have them quietly sit in Bird Alley on the lower level, choose a bird, and illustrate which ever one(s) they'd like.  Wait until you see their beautiful artwork!  Don't miss their proud photos below.

We also went on a bird walk on the Lee Baldwin Trail, which is south of Route 6A.  It was another hot sunny day, so I didn't want to stay too long on the saltmarsh overlook platform that is near the start of the trail.  The kids get baking in the sun and then they're more focused on that than bird sightings.   Off to the cool beech forest we went to enjoy another woodsy hike.  We didn't have too many birds to see.  I believe many of them were finding shelter so as not to dehydrate.  We did hear several in action though and it is always a cool relaxing and quite beautiful spot to visit the canopy of the beech forest.  We spoke about how important these trees are for so many reasons, including why trees are so important for us as well.  It's good to take care of the trees!

When we were getting ready for the pick up, one of our KidSummer Kids noticed a very special visitor who was hanging out - perhaps stuck - on a sticky spider web under the picnic tables in front of the museum tent.  It was a Giant Leopard Moth (AKA Great Leopard Moth &/or Eyed Tiger Moth.  What a beautiful moth!  A few of us got to hold it, but we had to rush due to pick up time being upon us.  I did my best to share the moth with moms, dads & grandparents when they were signing their KidSummer Kid out.  It was a great way to end our morning. (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
American Goldfinch
Song Sparrow
House Sparrow
Blue Jay
European Starling
Downy Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Mourning Dove
White-breasted Nuthatch
Black-capped Chickadee
American Crow
Red-winged Blackbird

Bird Memory Game

Illustrating in Bird Alley

Cedar Waxwing

Black-crowned Night Heron

Canada Goose!

Snowy Owl

Canada Goose (popular species today!)

Black-capped Chickadee & others

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Using patience & quiet, two excellent tools, 
to get closer to a bird for better viewing

Bird Nerds on the marsh

Posing on the natural stairs

Bird Nerd Salute!

Nature finds a way, even on rocks

Showing the different plant cells, xylem & phloem, the
special vascular cell of plants that transport
water & nutrients to feed the plant

Found Blue Jay feather

Admiring the coolness of the 
beech tree forest canopy

Bird Nerds in the forest

Red-winged Blackbird
Practicing our silhouette knowledge from a distance

Mourning Doves...well camouflaged

Another treasure!  A Great Leopard Moth discovery!

The KidSummer Kids named him/her: Zebra

Thanks for the surprise Zebra!
Happy Birding Bird Nerds!