Thursday, March 12, 2015

Kindergarten Birders at the Lake

We went birding at the lake and on our way we stopped to get Michael, the teacher's son.  He walked with us and helped us find birds.  It was a warm and windy day.  When we got to the lake, we quietly crept up the side of the hill and peeked at the lake to see if there were any ducks.  Sara spotted one and exclaimed, "There's a Redhead". 

This boy is scanning the lake for ducks.
Then we kept hiking and we got a really close look at the Redhead.  We watched it swim and eat.  One time they saw it roll over on its side, so they saw its belly.  They thought that was so funny!

The lone duck on the lake.
Then Grant yelled, "Bald Eagles!"  Sure enough.  Very high in the sky we watched three Bald Eagles soar around and around.  

Three Bald Eagles soaring above the small lake.
Then we headed to {what they call} the "spooky forest".  One boy asked if there would be bears in there, but I assured him that there were no bears in our town.  The kids noticed that the trees did not have leaves like they did last time we were there.  They also wondered if the poison ivy would still be there, but of course it wasn't.  We scared up a Ring-necked Pheasant out of the fence line and Michael saw a Red-tailed Hawk.

While we were hiking through the trees, we saw two piles of feathers and they were sad when they realized that they were dead birds.  We discussed what bird might have been the predator.  We narrowed it down to a Merlin, a Sharp-shinned Hawk or a Red-tailed Hawk.  I also reminded them that those birds have to eat too and that they can't go to McDonald's or the grocery store when they're hungry.  

The spooky forest didn't seem as scary this time!
I taught them how the old log will decompose and become soil.  
Then they lifted it up to investigate what was under it.
"Maybe we can see in there with the binoculars?"
We went on the bridge and they thought that it seemed like the bridge was moving when in reality it was the strong wind making waves and it felt like they were moving.  Other birds we saw on this windy day were: American Robins, European Starlings, and American Tree Sparrows.

"Hey!  We're moving!"

We started to walk back to school.  Gabe wanted to name the Redhead and after some thought he came up with one.  He said that we should call him, "Fishy Guinot"!  That was sure cute!  We had a great time birding at the lake!
The kids are getting better at using the binoculars.
Here they are soaring like Bald Eagles and Turkey Vultures.
That Redhead was a life bird for 11 of the kindergartners!
"Its my turn!"
"Maybe we can look through them at the same time."

Here we are with the sun in our eyes and acting a bit silly!

When we returned, we had recess and then we cooled off with 
a big glass of water while we put our bird sightings on eBird, which
is a way that the kids can participate in citizen science.  We also 
wrote this up together as a class story to share with you!


  1. Class, great job sharing your birding experience with all of us! You're great writers! I did notice when you were soaring like the eagles and vultures, that one of you had your arms up in a 'V' shape, just like the vultures do. I bet Mrs. Preheim also told you that the vultures wobble when they soar; eagles don't. How nice that your teacher's son could help you find birds too. Sounds like you all had a great day!

  2. So now I'm jealous of the weather AND the birds...