Thursday, April 30, 2009

A New Kind of Bird

6 yr old- "Hey Mommy, I saw a bird with yellow on its tail, like this:" ('air-draws' stripes across back-side)
8 yr old- "What other colors did it have?"
6 yr old- "Just black and yellow."
8 yr old- "Doesn't sound like any bird I've ever seen..."
6 yr old- "Must be from New York."
(heard 4/27/09, at the dinner table, 6 yr old & 8 yr old)

??? Don't even ask- I have no idea... but they sure do make me laugh, repeatedly.

My parents have kept filled birdfeeders (as opposed to the kind we used to keep, empty ones) for many years. Some years back, I started to notice that there were more than just Chickadees, Robins, and Blue Jays in their yard. Thus began my love of birdwatching.

We bought a birdfeeder, and my husband placed it on a pole just outside our dining room bay window. The kids love it. We get so many good views of lots of bird varieties. Over the years we've added a couple Finch, Oriole, and Hummingbird feeders. The fun continues to grow. We have a couple bird identification books, and a cd of Minnesota bird calls. Oh, and we regularly read from Thornton Burgess' Bird Book throughout our homeschooling year. I love that book.

This past season we all enjoyed the frequent visits from some Red Bellied Woodpeckers (pictured above, you can't see its belly though.) I don't remember seeing those before. They're quite a bit bigger than the Downy and and slightly larger than the Hairy Woodpeckers that also stick around all year. Very cool birds.

Interestingly, this was also the first year we noticed any Pine Siskins. Maybe we're just becoming better observers...

It's time to refill the Finch and Oriole (my favorites!!!) feeders, and I'm feeling the urge to get another big feeder for the front yard, though a person could go broke buying birdseed for too many feeders, yikes. Every hobby has its costs, eh? (Birdseed, yarn, birdseed, yarn, this could prove difficult.)

The windows on the front of the house need replacing, but we'll have to settle for a good washing this year, and soon. Decent bird pictures are much more likely when taken through clean windows...

So, the near future list grows-

  • acquire new feeder
  • wash & fill Oriole feeder
  • fill Finch feeder
  • while you're at it, get the hummingbird feeders cleaned and ready
  • till the garden bed
  • transplant runner strawberries that are taking over back yard
  • plant some blueberry bushes
  • plant some raspeberries
  • get 2 new apple trees, for Mother's Day, I strongly hinted
  • transplant tomatoes to bigger pots until garden soil is ready
  • keep an eye on the rhubarb, harvest and freeze more than you waste this year
  • plant a couple more hostas, my love of hostas is growing
  • further divide the crowded mystery lillies, dunno what kind they are, I just like having them grow
  • plant garden with kiddos!!!
  • build some raised beds
  • keep up with the garden (is this a to-do list or a wish list? hmmm...)
  • build that sandbox! I told you, I'm determined this year.
  • knit some good knits
  • get another indie pattern or two ready
  • drink plenty of water
  • enjoy each day

Enjoy your weekend-

Resources to enjoy:

Birdsleuth- real science for real kids

Project FeederWatch

The Great Backyard Bird Count

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Blogger a friend to knit with said...

oh, i adore your list!!
and the things kids say... i adore that, too.

thanks for the birdie info. we used to be more into it when the kids were younger... i should get a new book and spark their interest!

4/30/2009 9:30 PM  
Blogger Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

Thanks for the bird info - the kids have been interested in birds lately, and I really don't have a clue!

5/01/2009 9:08 AM  
Blogger Machelle said...

You are one busy momma. The birds are good for the kids too. What responsibilty and teaching to be grateful for birds. Thanks for sharing the kids conversation. Very fun.

5/01/2009 1:47 PM  
Anonymous twistedinstitches said...

oooo we have Pine Siskins too! They don't stay long...I don't know if they "pass" through--we only see them briefly in the spring.

One of mine is claiming a sighting of a hummingbird...I'm a bit skeptical though.

I might just have to get the humming feeder up early this year regardless. I really like those busy little things!

Birdwatching is a really fun thing to do.

What we did this winter: peanut butter pinecones.

Remember the peanut butter scare? I couldn't throw our possibly "TAINTED" industrial sized jar away. We slathered pinecones with it--rolled it in sunflower seed and hung them on all the trees. We had more woodpeckers and SQUIRRELS than ever before. Kids loved it though.

I probably have a pinecone buried in my garden somewhere.



5/02/2009 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bird watching is a favourite pastime of mine and I regularlly try and teach the kids about different birds...that CD sounds like fun, I must find out if they do one for birds native to the UK.

I love your lists too.

5/02/2009 11:33 AM  
Blogger The A.D.D. Knitter said...

My girls used to keep birdwatching journals and mark down new birds when they saw them, it was so much fun. My dad has severe Alzheimer's and can still identify any bird, which is fascinating.

5/03/2009 3:54 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

I love my birds...and to prove it I just bought 50 lbs of niger seed! Do you know how many bird feeders that fills? My husband thought I was crazy...but it was the best deal!

5/04/2009 11:26 AM  
Blogger knittingknirvana said...

The yellow and black bird being from NY? I totally get it--just like a NYC cab! :)

5/29/2009 6:45 PM  

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