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Time to Fledge!

Updated: Apr 26

Kids just like birds need time to strengthen their wings and step off into the world. We were all about birds today, but there were lots of life lessons too.

Just like our feathered friends, the kids were wanting to fly, starting out with their favourite game, Blackbird Ball. It is a fun way to get active and hit the ground running.

We saw or heard quite a few different kinds of birds today. The woodpeckers by the hall. The blue jays by pond lookout, half a dozen turkey vultures in the distant sky. What other birds did your child see or hear today? Noticing birds and looking at their size, shape and colour all help in identification. Does your child remember any features of the bird that hung out in the tree where we had snack time? 

Looking and studying birds can help us understand more about bird behaviour and what might the bird be doing. We had a good look at the bird by the pond.  Why didn't it move? And when it did move it didn't fly very far away. Why?

Listening to the songs and calls of birds can help us pinpoint a direction of where to look. Their calls get our attention, but what are some other reasons for birds singing or calling out?  One of the robin's calls can be put into words, like "cheery up, cheery dee". Have your child sing this call for you. Knowing some bird mnemonics is a step to linking birds to their unique songs.

Looking for nests at Harrington today was hard. We observed some robins but no nest. We did find some other things like butterflies and a moth cocoon. It was a polyphemus moth cocoon on a sapling. This might be a cool one to look up and find out more...

Eggs laid in the nest are the start of a new generation. Nests are built using beaks and bodies most of the time. We built nests trying to use just two or three fingers. What materials did your child use to build a nest with their nest building partner? Would the egg roll out of the nest they built? How did your child find working with their nest building partner? It’s tough being in a family rearing relationship when you’re just a kid:). 

Searching, Wandering, Connecting.....all part of the learning.

In the library the group turned the colouring table into a card-making huddle. They created beautiful cards for Tamarack, who has a fractured ankle due to a flip over her romping kittens. She can’t wait to be back, so won’t be away too long. Thanks to Heron for flying in to fill in for her. You’ll see an interesting bird booklet tucked in packs from Grey Squirrel in the library. Enjoy!

Our mated Robin pairs had no time to rest after nest building. Ask about our game roleplay from egg to fledging. Where did you decide to place your nest so it was safe (females)? What kind of food did you need to find to gain energy for laying your eggs? How many eggs did you lay? Then, time to incubate! More food finding before welcoming some hatchlings. Talk about how many of your babies made it out into the world. What swift trick did Cowbird try to pull on our unsuspecting robin pairs?

Our chat about the dangerous life raising young in the wild may have surprised some. About how many chicks survive to fledge from the nest? We did some interesting math to figure out our total numbers and best case survival rate. 

Quiet time to create gives us a breather. Betty was back to make sure we were on track with spool knitting. How is your child finding this project so far? Thank you to Tim & Betty for dreaming up this wonderful craft for everyone. 

Some got to journals and added their learning about robin. All joined in a raucous chorus of Happy Trails to end a perfect nature school day. So much growing is happening around the pond! More adventures next week Forest Friends:) 


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