Birdie #3

Further to our post with a junco in the classroom, and Mrs. B. getting to hold a real hummingbird… we really DID have a third birdie “event”.

It happened after Sports Day. I was on my way outside to cut some blackberry leaves to feed our Walking Stick insects when she noticed some crows picking at something on the ground. It was a bushtit nest (these tiny little birds make a long “bag” nest!). When I looked inside, there was a broken egg shell. Lots of people were at the park, so I thought I would show the children my exciting find. The moms there mentioned that they had noticed how busy the crows had been. As I showed the nest to the children, I suddenly noticed a tiny little ball tucked up at the top… and it was breathing! It was a baby bushtit! I couldn’t reach the branches of the tree to try to hang it back up, and even if I could, the crows would have gone right back and eaten the baby! Soooo….. I took the baby home! I have fed baby cockatiels, lovebirds, parrotlets and more, so I got out my baby bird food and got to work!


Here is a little VIDEO of our Baby Bushtit being fed!!!

Baby Bushtit


Visiting Birdies!

Our hard work learning about birds must have reached our feathered friends… a junco came into our classroom after school last week!

Then, while Mrs. Boekhout was sick in bed on the long weekend, “Granny” handed her a little Rufous hummingbird that had stunned itself on the back deck.  The happy news is that after keeping it warm and safe for about 10 minutes, it was able to fly off into the trees!

Things often happen in “threes“… I wonder what bird will be next!?!?

B.I.T. – Bird Identification Tally

Meep, meep!  Fee-bee, fee-bee!  Hoo- hoo, hoo-hoo!

Do you know which of these is an OWL?  a NUTHATCH?  a CHICKADEE?

We have been learning to identify many of the birds in our local area… especially the birds that come to our tree and window BirdFeeders!  Our Ornithologist of the week writes down the birds we see. We have seen chickadees (black-capped and chestnut backed), juncos, song sparrows, house finches, house sparrows, Stellar’s Jays (that’s our BC bird!), Towhees, white-crowned sparrows, bushtits, crows, starlings, varied thrush, as well as Downy woodpeckers, flickers, and even big Pileated Woodpeckers!  (Oops… no owls, though!) We usually see Rufous hummingbird, although they haven’t come to our window yet this year.  One year, Mrs. B. even had a mallard duck pair bring their BABIES to nibble on fallen seeds!

On the May long weekend we collect bird data over two days and then submit our results to SEEDS Canada  Students all over Canada count up the birds they see!  As well as learning about our local environment, we get to use our MATH skills for all the data we collect!  I wonder what bird will be the most commonly seen this year?  (Hint: It’s usually a CROW!!!)

This year we had a very special “bird activity”, thanks to one of our students and his Mom!  They brought in Owl Pellets!  Owls eat their prey whole, and after about 12 to 18 hours, they “cough up” a fur ball of all the parts they can’t digest!  You might say, “Yuck, disgusting!” but we decided to act like scientists and say, “Verrrry interesting!”  We couldn’t believe all the little bones we found!  We found skulls and leg bones from little rodents, and were able to identify some of the bones on charts just made for owl pellets!  Science is SO much fun!



 Our favourite bird website is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology because we can look up birds, see a map of where they live, hear their bird songs (or squawks!), and sometimes even watch short video clips!


Spring is time for Eagle nests too!


We have been watching the EAGLE CAM in Decorah, Iowa!  When we started, the third chick was only ONE DAY OLD!

“The Raptor Resource Project brings you the Decorah Eagles from atop their tree at the fish hatchery in Decorah, Iowa.”

We are also hoping to watch a LOCAL Eagle’s nest in Delta, BC.  Delta is a municipality just a few miles away from us!  We heard that this nest has a new baby chick too!

“David Hancock, has been studying bald eagles for over 50 years!”  He also has a webcam in Victoria, BC.