Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Birds of a Feather

This year in science Hayley, Luke, Will and I are studying Apologia's Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. Apologia divides zoology into 3 years and introduces animals in the order of God's creation. This year we will be studying birds, bats and insects.

In order to study birds, we needed to be able to see birds. We have set up several bird feeding areas in our yard. We hung a thistle feeder to attract goldfinches. We used an empty soda bottle to make a feeder filled with sunflower seeds. To attract insect-loving birds, we made suet. We mixed together oatmeal, peanut butter, lard, cornmeal, sugar, raisins and birdseed.

Next we placed the suet in zip top bags and then in the freezer to harden. Once the suet was hard, we removed one block from a bag and placed it into our suet feeder. The suet is now hanging in our backyard. It took about a week for any birds to find it, but we have had several visitors this week.

Before we began this study, birds in our yard didn't receive much notice. Now as soon as someone spots a bird whatever else we are doing stops, the kids grab the binoculars and the guide book and start trying to make an identification. So far we've seen a Blue Jay, male and female Cardinals, Song Sparrow, Eastern Wood-Pewee, lots of Mourning Doves, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Mockingbird, Robin, Wood Thrush and the Carolina Chickadee.


Eowyn said...

yep, very crazy! chores don't get done (arg) Bible time is inturupted.

Michelle said...

Awesome! We have come to love birds at our house. I believe it is because there are so many and you can ALWAYS find a bird. We had a family of blue birds this summer. We made our own little bird house and within 30 minutes two blue birds had taken over! We were able to watch the eggs until they hatched and the process of feather growing...and now they are gone. :(

And I'm sure you saw the picture of Lily on fb with her salt shaker waiting for the birds. You know if you throw salt on a birds tail you can catch it? ;) Kept me busy for hours when I was a kid.