Friday, August 11, 2017

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

First Flight!  Wait 'til you hear what we got to see (and hear today!)  I'll tell you about it in a bit.  I was looking forward to discussing wing span and wing beats with the Bird Nerds.  It's when we talk about a special avian superhero; the hummingbird.  They are the only bird who can fly backwards.  They migrate thousands of miles, even though they are only 4 inches long (tip of the bill to the tip of the tail).  They can flap their wings as much as 70 times per SECOND!  That is just a bit much for the human brain to fathom.  I have an exercise to demonstrate the concept of wing beats.  I ask the Bird Nerds to stretch out and flap their "wings" as fast as they can and to count how many times they can flap within 10 seconds.  Most of the Bird Nerds could flap between 20-30 times in 10 seconds.  I like to believe it gives them a new appreciation of just how tough it can be to fly!  It's a LOT of work!

When we came back from our visit to the viewing platform, we ran into Gerry who is the maintenance manager at the museum.  He's a bird fan himself and he told us that he noticed that the juvenile Osprey was seen flapping his/her wings over the nest this morning. We thanked him and were on our way.  When we were headed back from the secret trail, I could hear a LOT of Osprey sounds and I had to guess... the baby was flying.  THIS WAS THIS BABY OSPREY'S FIRST FLIGHT!!!  We ALL got to see her/him soaring and learning how to use his wings for the very first time!  It was a moment I will never forget!  We were SO LUCKY!  The Osprey family were very vocal all communicating with each other.  I asked the Bird Nerds what they thought the parent birds were saying.  "Great flying baby!  Good job!"   Was what they all decided.  Perfect words of encouragement...

We got to sneak in a visit to the museum as well and even had a great tour through the inflatable Gray Whale.  I will miss seeing this flock each morning.  I hope they continue to enjoy the birds they encounter along their way and that they remember to share what they have learned and what they know with others so that they can pass along the Bird Nerdiness.  The birds DO appreciate it! (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
House Sparrow
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher (!!!)
European Starling
Song Sparrow
Gray Catbird
Blue Jay
Northern Flicker
Barn Swallow
American Goldfinch
Song Sparrows

Song Sparrow

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Red-winged Blackbird - female ( isn't she BEAUTIFUL?!)

Red-winged Blackbird

Learning about baleen & krill

The Junior Naturalists explain about
the whale's food & how they eat

The view from Ospreycam - the juvenile is
in the middle of the nest with wings outstretched

Red-winged Blackbird - male

Inside the inflatable Gray Whale

Asking questions about the mural

Upside down Horseshoe Crab.  S/he was kicking her/his
legs wildly!

Watching & pointing out the baby Osprey's
first flight lesson!!!

Everyone loves the viewing tank!

Whale skull

Bird Nerd Buddies on a bird walk!

Bird Nerd Salute!

What a terrific flock of Bird Nerds!

Osprey returning to the nest

Fiddler Crab - female

Fearless with a fiddler!

Curiosity on the salt marsh

Actually seeing the juvenile Osprey's VERY FIRST FLIGHT!!!

Peaceful garden trail

Enjoying the secret trail

Osprey family on the nest

Feather on the trail

Stretching out to measure a wingspan!

Eastern Kingbird

European Starling silhouettes

Checking out our wing spans and counting wing beats

Mourning Dove

Sharing photos of a Belted Kingfisher

I will miss these young Bird Nerds!  Thanks for a fun-filled feather-appreciating week!
Happy Birding young Bird Nerds!

1 comment: