Monday, 4 November 2013

Surrounded by birds

We're winding down our unit on the human body this week, finishing off with my favorite...the musculo-skeletal systems.  And that means we're that much closer to a field trip to the Science Centre to finish it all off.  And it also means that we'll be moving on to something new.

That something new will be a wee bit of citizen scientist work.  We've joined Project Feeder Watch and will be watching daily to see who happens to show up at our bird feeders this winter.  We're fully stocked on birdseed and kicked off our birdfeeder project by adding a suet feeder as well. 

We were all ready to start observing this morning.  But what did we find?  High winds, blowing snow, icy's likely the birds were hiding somewhere where they would be well protected and weren't going to come out for a peck or two at the bird feeder (neither was the squirrel that likes to spill the birdseed all over the ground).  Despite the lack of activity, we did put together a hypothesis or two about our observations.  We'll see if our theory that ties the lack of birds at the feeder to the dismal weather will hold true throughout the winter.

We were also treated to a special event tonight.  An expert on the decline of the burrowing owl population in Canada made a stop for a talk in our town tonight.  Nicholas and I went together, with notebooks in hand for taking notes.  We listened intently, jotted little bits and pieces of information down, asked questions, and enjoyed the company of other nature lovers we hadn't met before.  Part of what excited me about homeschooling was the opportunity for my children to dive deep into the topics they love and the chance to learn from and connect with enthusiastic experts that they typically wouldn't have access to in school.  I'm so glad we're getting a taste of that now, and I'm looking forward to more of it in the months ahead!

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