Monday, February 02, 2009

Getting ready for the GBBC and more

The Great Backyard Bird Count (project by Cornell lab of Ornithology and Audubon) will be February 13-16. You can go to the website to find out more information. Basically you just go somewhere, anywhere, and watch for birds for about 15 minutes. You keep track of what and how many birds you saw, and then you go to the website and send in your information. This is a great activity for kids, families, homeschoolers, etc. The results of the count are tracked online and are used by scientists.

Last weekend I noticed that Congaree National Park was doing a program about bird feeders and attracting birds to your yard. They are doing several programs for the next few weekends to spread the word about the Bird Count. I thought it would be fun for us to do while Daniel was working on Sunday, so the girls and I packed some snacks and headed out to the Park. We learned a few new names of birds to look for in our yard and about what kinds of foods certain birds like. They were giving away some great freebies so we came home with a bamboo bird feeder made by some of the Rangers. We also took home a cool Natl. Park Calendar and a huge pine cone to make another bird feeder out of.

After the Ranger talk, we took a nice walk through the swamp. We listened for birds but they were hard to spot and hear. We enjoyed walking leisurely down the bordwalk and remembering what we have learned about the trail. There are 21 wooden numbers along the path that go along with the self-guided tour pamphlet. We only went past the first 5 but since we have done the trail a few times we could remember what each number was referring to without looking at the guide. We walked down to the creek which we had never done before and it was beautiful. We stopped along the way to snack and take closer looks.

Through the switch cane.

The Great Cypress

Cedar Creek

Just being silly

Excited about the new feeder.

Daniel was happy to help us hang the new feeder right in front of our big playroom window.

I really had a good time. As a parent and homeschooling mom I spend a lot of time teaching, telling, watching, cooking, cleaning, correcting, driving, etc. Times like these when we are just hanging out are really sweet. It was also a great opportunity to take pictures since I'm still learning about my camera!


Anna Morrison said...

love this post.

we'll totally be up for the bird watch. thanks for the info.

great photos.

William Kruidenier said...

I love the "through the switch cane" picture -- the way the boardwalk goes off into the distance. Made me think of what a good object lesson it is about "boundaries" in life; how they protect us from danger if we will honor them and stay within them. The two side rails of the boardwalk are doing their job -- Ellie walking right next to one and staying safe; staying out of the swamp.