Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Hawk, an Owl, and the Bald Eagle

 I love nature studies. We’ve kept a nature notebook for the last 3 years. It is so nice to be able to go through the pages and see all of the things we’ve learned about. To look at the drawings and pictures and remember being there and learning about the animal or tree or insect is a blessing.

I have learned as much as the kids and we all really love to get outside for nature walks or out in the backyard and enjoy the fresh air.

Though for all of that, I really would like to get good at bird studies. We have a couple of nature guides that Jo-Jo just pours over. She makes jokes about the ones with tufts-they need haircuts. She picks her favorites to share with us. And will spend long minutes on the sofa reading about different birds that catch her eye. I need to get going with it. We don’t even have a bird feeder.


To motivate myself some I decided we’d take Barb’s challenge to make a Bird Life List and participate in her Bird Grid Study for OHC blog carnival.

It is hard to study a winter bird when you don’t have a feeder. So I settled on the red-tailed hawk to begin with. I first saw one that I recognized in the fall while driving out our dirt road. It was really difficult to take it in at first. After a second or two, I realized why. It had just snatched up dinner and what I saw was the hawk carrying a squirrel off.

I began seeing them everywhere and on our way home from church a couple of weeks ago, I saw one up in the trees and that was all the motivation we needed to study red-tailed hawks.


Next, we moved on to barn owls. I picked them because…well…they are around. We haven’t spotted any this year, but on our way home a few nights last year we would come across one that sat in the middle of the road. Many a nights we’d drive right over the thing before we realized it was sitting there. It somehow was not the least bit jarred to have a moving vehicle straddle it.


And then it happened…I found out our local library was having an exhibit with a live red-tailed hawk, a barred owl, and a bald eagle.
And so, we also studied the American bald eagle.

Our library visit was amazing. I surprised the kids, so when we walked in and they saw the "real, alive eagle, hawk, and owl" (~Ceesa), there were shrieks of delight.

bald eagle

red-tailed hawk



There was even an American Kestrel
which was even a surprise for me.


All of these birds are cared for at a rehabilitation center, but because of disabilities cannot be released back into the wild. The bald eagle is actually blind from contracting the West Nile Virus from a mosquito bite.

 *A couple of days ago the girls spotted a killdeer and today I saw a male and female bluebird.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,


OHC Blog Carnival 

6 comments:

Barb McCoy said...

And that is how it goes....a bird or two to get started and then you just keep it going. I love that you were able to follow-up with some real life observations after your study.

Thank you so much for joining the OHC Carnival this month with your fantastic bird entry. Thanks for sharing!

dstb said...

Wow. What an awesome library program.

Isn't it funny how once you learn about a bird, you start seeing them everywhere. So fun.

Sarah

Leslie aka Mother Robin said...

OH, your post reminded us of an identical program. I even wondered if you lived nearby. You are so lucky to see owls so frequently. I hear them but have hardly ever seen them! Lucky (blessed ;-) ) you!
My latest post Birding by Ear: A Whole New World

Bethany said...

It is great to get to be in the carnival. You've blessed us with so many encouraging challenges!

Bethany said...

We also purchased binoculars so it is really helping with identification.

Bethany said...

It is a very surprising place to see an owl!

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