Monday, April 6, 2009

Outdoor Hour Challenge -Bluebirds

Last week we went to the park to play. I picked a park that had ducks and geese that we could go and see along with a nice walk, around a small lake (which ended up being empty at the time, but the birds were there), that would lead us to the playground. The of course had to feed the birds even through there was a sign that said not to.

We continued our walk and the ducks and geese followed us around expecting more food, but the kids didn't have any more crackers.
While the kids played at the park I sat and enjoyed the sunshine and listened to the chirping of the birds. I knew most of the birds that we saw were house sparrows. But every once in awhile I would see a bluebird. They were not a numerous and didn't sit still very long so it took me a long time to catch one sitting long enough for me to snap a shot of it.
It may be hard to tell this is a bluebird from this angle. The breast of this bluebird is a rusty brown color. But when it was flying you could really see the blue color of its back and wings.

It actually sat still long enough for this female bluebird to come and perch near it and I was able to capture both in a picture. The female is slightly duller in color but still has a blue tinge to the feathers.
When we got home from the park I looked up the bird in our field guide and found out that it is called a Western Bluebird and that it is a relative of the robin. This information came in handy this weekend when we saw a number of these same type of bluebird up at Grandma's house while we took a walk through her neighborhood. We saw lots of new birds up where Grandma lives. The kids even saw some quail while out playing in the pasture and there were lots of hawks flying around too. We are still trying to decide what kind of woodpeckers we see in Grandpa's trees. We are leaning toward acorn woodpeckers but need a better look.

Today we got out the Burgess Bird book and read the chapter about Bluebirds and then tried to draw one in our sketch books.
Sophie got a little frustrated with her drawing skills and got discouraged. I helped her with her sketch and then she colored it in nicely. I think she was just a bit tired after a fun filled weekend at Grandma's house playing with cousins.

We are certainly becoming more aware of the different birds we see. It is funny how you don't really see them until you are actually looking for them. I never knew how many varieties of birds we have even here in the city.


Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

I have had trouble getting a good photo of the Western Bluebird as well. This time of year they seem to be especially active. You got a great photo of the pair of them!

I was thinking about adding an entry on how to learn to draw birds....what do you think? Would it help to have an "art" lesson separate from the nature study on how to draw a decent bird? Even if we parents just work on it and then help our children?

Thanks for sharing your bird study.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Anonymous said...

I'm always amazed by your artistic talent and Sophie has that same talent. Just beautiful. I hope all are rested and ready for more fun learning for the remainder of the week.

I was just reading Crinkleroots 25 Birds to Know to Silas this afternoon.