Monday, June 6, 2011

Bird Watching

Bird watching has become almost a daily activity for me and my boys.  My older son is taking Ohio Birds for a 4-H project.  This is a 2 year project.  Last year he had to learn to identify birds.  So he mainly spent most of last summer learning different birds.  This year he has to go to different habitats and make a tally of how many of each bird he sees.  He is really enjoying doing this.  He not only knows how to identify birds by sight but also by listening to them and watching their behaviour and how they fly.  Although he identified a lot of birds last year he still is finding several that he has not seen yet.  Here are a few pictures of our bird watching. 

This is a brown headed cow bird. The picture was taken at a county park.

This is not a bird.  My kids loved it though and asked me to take a picture.  This little guy was hanging behind glass in the park bulletin board. The kids jumped when it woke up and scurried behind the piece of paper he is hanging below.

Here is a Robin.  These are one of the first spring birds that come back to our area.

Here is a flock of Canada Geese!!

These are not birds either but I loved this picture!!

This is a Gray Catbird.  If you here a cat screeching in the woods it is probably this bird. 
 This was taken at a bird aviary.  The birds in here are either raised by humans or injured
and can not be released back into the wild.

This is a Mourning Dove.  I like the silhouette.  It is also in the bird aviary.  My son still thinks that it's name is Morning Dove even though I keep telling him that it is spelled different and what it meas.  I love the cooing of this bird in the morning and evening.  They are frequently at our feeder.

Here is one of the wetlands we visit.  We see a lot of Red-Winged Blackbirds and Canada Geese here.

Here is a Tree Swallow that I captured at a grass land.  It is also a county park.  The park was the old landfill that was turned into a park. 

Here is the grass land.  My son loves watching the grass blowing in the wind.
  He says it looks like a green ocean. 

Here is another Tree Swallow.  I love their iridescent blue backs and wings.

This is a Bobolink.  They are becoming quite rare.  They build their nests in grassy areas, normally hay fields.  They get destroyed when farmers mow their hay unaware that the birds are in there.  This park has a protected area for them.  I did not get a real close picture of him but he put on quite a neat flying and bobbling sound display for us.  My son was so excited when he saw him.  He has been wanting to see one since last year.  

This is an unidentified duck.  The local park district think it could be a mix breed of a Mallard and a Domestic duck.  They said that Mallards will often breed with domestic ducks.

He was swimming around with a Mallard.  We took these pictures at another wetland.  We are very fortunate to have many nature parks in the county we live in.  It gives us plenty of places to bird watch other than our back yard.  

This Great Blue Heron was fishing.  We watched it catch several fish before he flew off.  

Here is a larger view of the wetland. There is a wooden plank that goes all the way out in it.  There is also a bird watching tower (where I took this picture) to get a better view from.  A few weeks ago this was completely flooded.  The water was going across the plank.

As you can see there are a lot of great places in our area to bird watch.  We love doing this and often take a picnic lunch with us and bird watch afterwards.  This is something great to do as a family and it is very educational as well.  I home school, so bird watching is a great science lesson!!!  The kids are learning their birds and also about plant life and different habitats as well!!


Amanda said...

Um, a BAT??? Is that what that was?!! WOW!! That's so neat!

Creations by Dina said...

Yes, It is a cute little brown bat. What he was doing just hanging there in the sun I don't know. Maybe he wanted a tan!!

Mary said...

Yeah!!! it's working

ELP said...

My Mom and Dad use bird watch, they traveled all over the country just to see different birds. It is a great hobby
Wonderful pictures.

Creations by Dina said...

I love the fact the my 10 year old is really into it. I should not be surprised though, I call him my wildlife expert!!