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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hands-On Homeschool Birding at the Audubon

To round out our Birds Unit, I thought we should take a trip to the Audubon Society and get a "real" birding experience. I called - and lo and behold, they were happy to put together a two-hour homeschooling experience for us and other local homeschooling families. Moral: it can't hurt to ask! About 12 families turned up, ranging in age from about 4 to 14.

We got an hour of indoor instruction (feathers under a microscope, mix and match food and bird game, exploration of birds and their beaks). Tom was distracted by an exhibit of eggs and skeletons, but managed to tune in to check out an owl feather under the microscope.

Following the indoor presentation, we hiked a bit around some ponds (just a few birds here and there) and then walked down to a fabulous spot on the tidal marsh facing Sandy Neck (a strip of pristine beach that sticks out into Cape Cod Bay). We had a chance to try out a real spotting scope and watch osprey on their nest - but the real highlights were the crabs and insects we discovered right next to the boardwalk!

Spotting osprey through the scope at Longpasture Audubon in Barnstable.

Bird feathers up close and personal.

Be jealous! This is the view from the Audubon to Sandy Neck, a pristine beach that juts out into Cape Cod Bay.

Owl feather (I think!).

This is just part of a fabulous group of horseshoe crab molts we found on the salt grass in the tidal marsh. We brought home four!


Frogs' mom said...

What a cool field trip - your right, it never hurts to ask!

The Glasers said...

It would be interesting to see what Tommy retained more of--what captured his interest that he observed himself or what the speaker had to say. In some ways, both abilities are invaluable to the naturalist!

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