18 March 2009

Bird Week in Action

Bird week has shaped up to be a lot of fun. We were a bit distracted by several social opportunities because everyone else seems to be on spring break. But we plugged on as best we could with regular lessons, field trips, and even a day of "carschooling"!

The highlight for Gracie was a trip on Wednesday to the San Bernardino County Museum with her good friend who was on spring break. I gave Gracie a scavenger hunt to work on in the Bird Hall, and they both took on the challenge with gusto! The girls are definitely on their way to becoming ornithologists! They raced back and forth looking for penguins, hummingbirds, eagles, and the most colorful bird they could find.

Looks like they found a water bird!Amaryllis discovered a burrowing owl!

There were several school field trips at the museum that day, but we managed to avoid the crowds for the most part. We were however able to take advantage of some special hands-on displays of bird "skins" (formerly alive but now stuffed bird specimens) complete with docents to explain to us different bird features. Did you know owls have feathers on their legs which help them fly silently? I didn't!

All that bird exploration left the girls hungry, so we were inspired to make our own nests of the edible variety. I just adapted this recipe to fit with what we had on hand and added robin's egg candies.Yum!

Today in the exploration of the topic of eggs we cracked one open and Gracie drew and labeled what she saw in her science journal. We also learned about candling, which is how you can tell if an egg is fertilized or not. We watched some eggs being candled on our favorite learning tool, youtube! We also watched some baby chicks hatch, and then some snakes hatch! I know, I know, it's not snake week, but it sure was cool!

Gracie asked a really good question tonight. "Do all baby animals come out of eggs?" That led us into a discussion of mammals. But other than mammals do all baby animals came from eggs? I know we define mammal as an animal that gives birth to live young, but I couldn't think of a non-mammal giving birth to live young, nor another birth option besides an egg or live birth. It seems like a simple question, but I've been mulling it over for a while. There's probably some very obvious examples and I'm sure I'll feel silly for asking, but can you think of any other possibilities?


  1. What a cool week! I love the nest snacks you made. I'll have to remember that one...that and the scavenger hunt. Great ideas!

    I had no idea that there were any owls who burrow. Nifty factoid.

  2. I love the bird nest snacks. I did alot of snacks with our themes with my middle daughter, but my youngest has too many food allergies. UGH!

    We are going to attempt to hatch chickens and tadpoles out.

  3. What a great week! I love the nest snacks and scavenger hunt as well.