Monday, July 31, 2017

7.31.17 KidSummer Birding 101 - Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Brewster, MA 

The next several weekdays will have me immersed in bird nerd fun at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History!  I have a new flock of young Bird Nerds I got to meet today for my KidSummer course, Birding 101.  

We're just getting to know each other and we'll hear more bird stories and answer more bird questions throughout the week.  Constructing birdoculars always gets me talking about recycling and reusing materials.  The less we all consume, which doesn't always mean eat, the better for our planet.  That also means it's better for all, both the birds and us!  I really do my best to impart the fact that there are so many uses for all of the items we need on a daily basis.  I love planting this mindful seed in the hopes that these youngsters will think twice about just throwing something away without first thinking of how it could alternately be used.

I was excited to get out on our first bird walk to see & hear who we would see and hear.  I'm always interested in learning which bird nerd knows which bird, their bird calls and what to look for when you're in search of birds!  We did have a "mystery bird", which I now believe to be a juvenile Gray Catbird.  The tricky thing with bird identification this time of year is that the youngsters look similar, but not quite like their mature adult bird parents.  It's not so much that the plumage (color of the feathers) is all that different when comparing a juvenile to an adult Gray Catbird, but see the photos below.  Maybe you'll agree that s/he looks slightly different & all puffed up, as in, still growing those brand new feathers out. (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
House Sparrow
Blue Jay
White-breasted Nuthatch
American Crow
Gray Catbird
Song Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Eastern Kingbird
Northern Cardinal
Black-capped Chickadee
American Goldfinch
Barn Swallow

Learning just how long certain materials like clothing, glass & plastic
last once they're discarded and if they decompose

This tree trunk is under natural attack!  It seems
beetles may have caused the initial damage, but something/someone
larger has continued to eat & tear away at this pitch pine.

Seeing the beetle damage up close on the bark

Getting closer to the saltmarsh

There is a Gray Catbird (or two!) in these bushes but they
didn't want to be seen!

Song Sparrow

Fiddler Crab on the marsh

Pointing out the crab

Osprey in the nest (the juvenile is on the left)


Sea Lavender

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

Northern Cardinal - male
He is bald looking here, due to probably
either mites or molting.

Happy Bird Nerds on a bird walk!
Gray Catbird - juvenile
(not the mystery bird I thought it might be)

Gray Catbird - juvenile

Found feather from a Northern Flicker

American Goldfinch - male

Young Bird Nerds using their birdoculars
to watch the American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch - male

Osprey on the nest
Happy Birding young Bird Nerds!  I hope I hear that you heard &/or saw at least one bird on the way to and from the museum!


  1. This seems like a really awesome activity, especially for young children. Having them wander and explore nature will make them much more cautious about their surroundings.

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