Tuesday, July 31, 2018

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

One of the aspects we are focusing on this week when we are together for Birding 101 is our senses.  We discussed our five senses and compared them to bird senses.  It had been widely believed that birds did not have a keen sense of smell.  Think about how tricky an experiment set up that would be... but it's fun to imagine.  It is now known that birds like Turkey Vultures can smell quite well.  Thanks to the vultures for dealing with the dead stuff out there.  Scavengers really help to keep our world a cleaner safer place... Gulls are on that list of scavengers.  Scavenging certainly is a super power.  How so?  These particular species can consume carcasses without contracting deadly diseases that other species probably would.  As I pointed out, the word scAVENGER is pretty cool itself...

I really wanted to hike the Lee Baldwin Trail, south of Route 6A today, because as we discussed our senses, I know of special spots along that particular trail that highlight the senses.  We certainly noticed that when we were up on the observation deck, it was HOT!  As we traveled into the woods, the air cooled and I asked the bird nerds why.  We observed the dense canopy from the lush trees, Beech Trees in particular.  We also admired a great look out over a glacial erratic (AKA: big rock) and imagined a time gone by, before roads and modern technology, and how important that rock might have been and why.

We felt the bark on different trees, and even though we didn't taste them (saving them for the birds of course!), we did notice many wild blackberries.  We saw several beautiful birds and of course listened for them as we hiked along this fabulous trail.  As we neared the end of the shady section, I asked the bird nerds to stop, take a moment to smell the fragrance surrounding them in these woods.   It was the lovely summery scent of the sweet pepper bush.  So pretty!  They all agreed as they took in the fresh flowery air.  (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
House Sparrow
Gray Catbird
Song Sparrow
House Finch
Blue Jay
Red-tailed Hawk
American Goldfinch
American Crow
Red-winged Blackbird
American Robin
Common Grackle
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Eastern Kingbird
Carolina Wren

Surprise!  Binoculars!
House Sparrow - female

House Sparrow - male

Bird Nerds!

Testing out new equipment

Checking out the map of the Lee Baldwin Trail

The saltmarsh platform on the Lee Baldwin Trail

Song Sparrow

House Finch - female

Red-tailed Hawk

Common Grackle silhouettes

Fiddler Crab - male

We had to watch our step with the trail full of roots and rocks

Testing the softness of the fern

Large oak leaves

A fallen tree has become shelter for one, or several

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

A blurry view of Cape Cod Bay from the trail

Nature finds a way

Checking out the natural steps

Bird Nerd Salute!

Red Squirrel & House Sparrow - female

A surprise bird carving demonstration

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

Blue Jay & House Sparrow - males (one showing off his wingspan)

Happy Bird Nerds!
Happy Birding!

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