It has become important to share that love enjoyment with my children, which I hope blossoms into a deep-seated passion as great as my own. If you've read my blog for awhile or are friends with me on Facebook, you'll know that I share occasional photos of my bird sightings. I'll admit, though, photographing flowers is a whole lot easier!! Flowers don't fly away! <grin>
My 9th grade science fair project was about conservation. I researched and shared about three animals: the Passenger Pigeon, which has been extinct for decades now; the American Bison; and the Whooping Crane, which nearly became extinct. Ever since, I have had a passion for the Whooping Crane. Imagine my excitement when, years later after my kids and I had moved to Florida, I learned about Operation Migration, and their work to bring back the Whooping Cranes to some of their native nesting areas in Florida...with a flyover at the Dunnellon airport, within miles of where my parents lived!
Read more about the work of Operation Migration here. While you're at the website, be sure to sign up for their Field Journal.
Be sure to notice that these birds never see humans out of costume, and are always protected from contact with humans in "human form." The humans who spend any time around them, don't even talk while caring for them.
A few weeks ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted a document recommending ending ultra-light led migration. At the bottom of the OM Field Journal post is a petition to sign. I urge you, please sign the petition to preserve Operation Migration's work with the Whooping Cranes.
This fall, I began a focused bird study with Little Bit. We are using The Burgess Bird Book for Children, along with a study guide, Learning About Birds With Thorton Burgess, which I purchased through Simply Charlotte Mason. (The Burgess Bird Book can be purchased through Yesterday's Classics, and on Amazon. You can also download a free Kindle version through Amazon.) You can also purchase an ePub version, as well as a free ePub version.
For this study, you will also need a copy of Blacky the Crow, and Fifty Favorite Birds coloring book. I'm also using Audubon's Birds coloring book.
More resources we will use for more bird studies will be some note packs from In the Hands of a Child: Eagles, Owls, and Penguins. From Homeschool Bits (via CurrClick): Owls, Hummingbirds, Whooping Cranes, maybe Eagles, Turkeys, and Robins. A couple years ago, we enjoyed learning about Cardinals when we "Rowed" the book, Albert. Ever since, I've taken great pleasure in watching these brilliant birds visit our feeders.
If you wish to observe birds, be sure to put out bird feeders for them. Make sure it's squirrel proof! The little buggers have destroyed a couple of our feeders. The birds also like a water source, such as a bird bath. I'm always working to improve our backyard habitat in hopes of attracting birds.
When we moved here to Mississippi, imagine my delight when I learned, that first fall, that we were on the Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration route! We were swarmed with the precious little feathered creatures. Ever since then, I anticipate the end of August and September, sometimes well in to October, almost to November. It certainly takes a lot of sugar to feed the "hungry little beasts!" My camera is also kept busy, and my blog and Facebook are inundated with photos. I hope to attend a hummingbird festival sometime, so I can watch someone band a hummer.
About the time hummingbird migration is ending, OM is beginning the trike-led Whooping Crane migration. This, I have to watch online. This year, Little Bit is more interested in watching along with me than he's been in the past. The rest of the kids never have wakened early enough to watch with me. Maybe in a few years, when Little Bit reaches high school age, he and I will see if we can spend a season volunteering with OM. It would be a dream come true for me! *Remember to read the petition, and sign it if you're inclined.*
Here are some resources for bird identification: the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds; Audubon Bird Guide: North America; iBird Pro; Backyard Birds of America; North American Birds Guide-Pro Edition; Sibley Birds of North America.
Google apps: Merlin Bird ID; Audubon Birds of North America; Australian Bird Guide. There are also several bird sounds apps. Also check iTunes.
I hope you'll take the opportunity to learn more about yourself, and introduce them to your children as well.
By the way, my Seventh-day Adventist friends, yes, we are working on earning our Birds and Birds Advanced honors as well.
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