Friday, August 12, 2016

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

Our last day.  Today is also the last day of KidSummer 2016 at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History!  I really cannot believe it.  What an inquisitive bunch of bird nerds this week! That being said, I wanted to mention what I sometimes do with local school kids in that we make an, "I Wonder" board.  I asked everyone to think of a question related to birds that we could either answer immediately, or think about together, or research themselves.  One of my favorite websites (which some of these bird nerds already were aware of), is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's website and it is a wealth of information you'll find fascinating!  It's great place to find out answers to their questions and learn more about what birds have to offer!  See the photo of their questions below.

We were determined to make it to the beach today, and we sure did.  It was hot, hazy & humid yet again...but we bird walked with plenty of water, took shade breaks and I just kept checking in on everyone to be sure all were A-OK.  We made it!  Wait until you see the photos tell the story of what we did, how we enjoyed the mudflats, and the water, and the creatures and the simple beauty of spending quality curious time at the edge of Cape Cod Bay. Feathers were found, as well as sea creature evidence, left behind in the sand, and have I got a story for you!  One of the bird nerds, while exploring the tidal pools, discovered many hermit crabs, one of whom was SHELL-LESS!  He needed a new shell!  Or she... either way, this little hermit crab was desperate for a shell for shelter in the blazing sun and caught in the tidal pool, which would be a danger zone without the protection of a shell.  We decided to help out!  S/he was crawling around trying to fit into shells that already had residents... kinda hilarious to observe.  Use your imagination!  We found a selection of empty periwinkle shells for options and the second or third shell fit JUST RIGHT!  What a moment on the shore!  I have never seen this in many MANY years of scouring mudflats & tidal pools.  It was a triumphant moment for the bird nerds, for me, but I think mostly for the hermit crab snuggling into her/his new home.  I don't know why I've felt so many children's book references this week... I suppose it's been that wonderFUL. This experience reminded me of Eric Carle's A House for Hermit Crab - another precious children's book.  It's been a fantastic week with this flock of bird nerds.  I'll miss them & I look forward to hearing their bird stories and bird questions someday!  Thank you bird nerds for your stories, your questions, your patience, your quiet, your creativity & most of all, your curiosity..(double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
House Sparrow
Black-capped Chickadee
American Goldfinch
Barn Swallow
Mourning Dove
Ring-billed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Common Tern (tough to ID from the distance we were at)
American Crow
Song Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Semipalmated Plover
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Great Blue Heron


Found feather


American Goldfinch - male


Sea Lavender - tiny light purple flowers

Bayberry with the berries

Mourning Dove

Semipalmated Plover

Ring-billed Gulls

Ring-billed Gull

Crab Claw!


Tern - juvenile (left) & adult (left)

Semipalmated Sandpiper (pretty sure - only had a moment to ID)

Common Terns

Great Black-backed Gulls, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gulls

Spotting gull prints on the mudflats

Common Terns

Great Black-backed Gull

Cooling off 

Hermit Crabs

Sharing Hermit Crabs

Great Black-backed Gulls

Great Black-backed Gulls, Ring-billed Gulls & Laughing Gull (lower middle)


I'm not sure what this is, but it had previously been part of some creature - when it was alive.  

Sense of wonder being cultivated...

Hermit crabs & one withOUT a shell!

Notice the top Hermit Crab is shell-less

So...we searched for the right size help a hermit crab out...

Home inspection underway

After trying it out... this shell was too big

Just to be sure - we offered the next shell in the water.


Great Blue Heron - what a reward for the last major sighting of our week together!

Bird Nerd Salute!

Berd Nerd Salute... along with other poses, like unicorn pegasuses.

Poison Ivy with berries

BOTH Osprey on the nest...not seen very often these days

The "I Wonder" questions

Remember young bird nerds... IT'S COOL TO BE A BIRD NERD!!!

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