Wednesday, August 1, 2018

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

Lucky us... we had an early appointment in the Butterfly House with Marjorie.  I love it in there, and the Bird Nerds seemed to enjoy our visit.  Some of the butterflies decided to pay us up close and personal visits.  I don't know about others, but that always makes me feel special.  The daily growth of those Monarch Caterpillars is staggering!  Marjorie also shared a fascinating Osprey story with us.  She'd been watching the birds live on the monitor in the Marshview Room inside the museum on the Osprey Live Stream.  Marjorie watched for a few minutes as the mom Osprey was teaching her two youngsters, how to fish.  YES, while in the nest!  The mom had been holding a large fish and she was eating parts of the fish on her own.  Whenever one of the two youngsters went to grab the fish, she wouldn't let them take it from her, but she rewarded that behavior with a tiny piece of fish.  She then started wiggling the fish with her talon, as if to show them that this is what you look for when you're fishing on your own.  Osprey parents leave on migration first, so the young are on their own.  She is teaching them their best ways to survive when they have to hunt on their own.  AMAZING STUFF!

Sharing nature and art with kids is one of the best aspects of my job, and typically during our time together, I pick Wednesday morning for the nest box painting.  Since we have some second year Bird Nerds in this particular group, they already knew what was coming.  I love seeing their faces light up though when they see the wooden bird house for the first time.  Knowing that they get to bring these home, or give them as a gift, gets the kids excited.  I also ask that once they hang their creation on a tree, a post or wherever they decide to place them for the birds, that they send me photos.  I love sharing that here on the Cape Cod Bird Nerd Blog so that they can showcase their talents, and know that they're giving back to the birds. 

We also snuck in a bird walk... busy morning!  We had enough time for the secret trail - which is what I call it.  Once we made our way around to the salt marsh, it seemed it was bird species after species every minute or so.  We keep getting great views of the young Osprey's flight lessons.  The Barn Swallows darting this way and that is an acrobatic show on its own. (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
Fish Crow
House Sparrow
Blue Jay
Gray Catbird
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-winged Blackbird
Barn Swallow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
American Crow

House Sparrow - male

House Sparrow - female

Taking a dust bath

House Sparrow - male

Someone found a leaf-hopper

Entrance to the Pollinator Path

Waiting for our turn in the Butterfly House

Red Admiral Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

The butterflies seemed to want to rest on a Bird Nerd...

Marjorie showed us the monarch caterpillars

I think the butterfly mistakenly thought my backpack was
covered in REAL flowers

Resting up before our bird walk

Rosa Rugosa - beautiful and fragrant...
too bad it's invasive

Let the painting begin!

House Sparrow - male
Having a dust bath

Didn't they turn out beautifully!

A Bird Nerd brought in a nest to share

These photos, taken by this Bird Nerd's grandmother,
document the eggs in the nest timing
Blue Jay

We are surrounded by lovely green on the secret trail

Gray Catbird

Osprey flight lessons

Red-winged Blackbirds - female

Red-winged Blackbird - female

Gray Catbird

American Crow silhouette

House Sparrow - females

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

Red-winged Blackbird female being mobbed by House Sparrow females

House Sparrow - male

Reading while walking, a natural Bird Nerd hazard

Look at those wild berries - NOT for us to eat, but a lot of birds do

Checking out the representation of  trash

Happy Birding!

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