Eldest Boy, a.k.a. My Backyard, has a passion for bird watching, is our resident bird feeder filler and is sharing our May bird study today. He wrote this up last week during our study…
For our bird study, we picked the most interesting birds we’ve seen in our backyard lately.
Brown Thrasher – The brown thrasher really likes it when we don’t mow the backyard because it likes lots of brush. We’ve seen the brown thrasher running quickly, scratching and looking for bugs.
We’ve also seen the adult bird teaching its young how to scratch for food. The brown thrasher is Georgia’s state bird. See it’s long, brown tail feathers? We like that we see them often in our backyard.
Northern Flicker – We saw this bird for the first time on our backyard a couple of weeks ago. We found out that it is in the woodpecker family. I’ve never seen a woodpecker on the ground. The Birds of North America book told us that “unlike other woodpeckers, flickers can be found foraging for ants on the ground.” Which is what it was doing in our backyard.
Then it flew up to the pine tree and landed like a woodpecker.
Juvenile Bluebird – We studied bluebirds in our last bird study. My aunt shared a great photo of a bluebird and its babies. But we’d never seen this bird before (above). When we were watching the northern flicker, we saw a gray bird with a blue tail and white spots. We wondered what it was. I said, “it’s a juvenile bluebird.” So we looked it up and matched the picture my mom took with the one in the bird book. Yes! it was a juvenile bluebird.
Blue Grosbeak – interesting that the blue grosbeak is in the same family as one of our favorites, the northern cardinal. One morning we spotted what we thought was an indigo bunting. It was a shiny blue.
The female was with the male at the feeder. We looked it up in our field guide. And what we saw looked more like a blue grosbeak than an indigo bunting. When we looked on the indigo bunting page, we saw the blue grosbeak in the bottom corner as a similar bird. It had the brown markings. We were still excited because we’d never seen a blue grosbeak before!
Other birds we’ve seen recently:
- Northern Cardinal – both female and male (this story is by Littlest Girl.) “I’ve been seeing cardinals and cardinals. And next is the cardinal story. Today we are going to talk about cardinals. We just heard the bird clock, indeed! It sounded like it said cardinals. I saw a cardinal rushing through the trees really fast. It must have been running away from an enemy. I saw it rushing through the trees like a hawk chasing it. When I saw it stop, it looked like it was feeding its babies. The cardinal is a good bird.
- blue jay
- scarlet tanager – heard first then spotted on a trip to the mountains. Click the link to hear their wonderful call and see their red colors.
- cedar waxwings at sunset- a flock, high in the mountains. (Identification thanks to Aunt Mary Ann. Her link to their call.)
- Hawks by Littlest Girl – There was a hawk that loved to eat small, small birds. I called it Percy. Percy is a very good hawk. But the only problem about him is that he eats smaller birds. He’s a very good hawk, like I said, he eats birds. But he’s a very nice hawk indeed. That hawk is a very good, good hawk. And that hawk loves to rush through the trees. He’s cute, he looks like a chipping sparrow. He’s a small hawk.
Chalk pastels of birds added by Hodgepodgemom…
Cardinal by Youngest Girl
Rose Breasted Grosbeak (not spotted but beloved) by Middle Girl
Northern Flicker by Eldest Girl and Youngest Boy
a team effort!
We’ve also seen hummingbirds! That concludes our bird nature study with the Handbook of Nature Study.