First Fridays

Our new Roots & Shoots group meets on the first Friday of each month.  Our leader, Karen, picks the trail and/or location.  I love that she is an avid birder and that I am learning as much as the kiddos.  This past week, we went for a walk along  the river … a trail in which we are very familiar … and she pointed out the Bald Eagle nest to us.

Bald Eagle sitting on her nest

Fortunately, the female (we assume) was present and sitting upon her brood.  Though I do not have a great camera, if you click upon the image to enlarge it, you can see her head just above her nest.   We spent quite a bit of time observing the eagle and watching the other birds in the area.  We came up with quite an extensive list:  

  • 3 Double-crested Cormorants
  • 1 Blue Heron
  • 20 Canada Geese
  • 1 Gadwall
  • 2 Common Mergansers
  • 2 Canvasbacks
  • 12 Buffleheads
  • at least 10 Mallards
  • 1 Ring-necked Duck 
  • a possible Black Scoter
  • 3 Turkey Vultures 
  • 6 killdeer
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 25 Coots
  • about 200 gulls
  • 1 Anna’s Hummingbird
  • 1 Northern Flicker
  • about 3 Western Scrubjays
  • 3 Oak Titmice
  • at least 5 bushtits
  • 1 Bewick’s Wren
  • 2 American Robins
  • 1 House Finch. 

Thereafter, we continued our walk and observed numerous other birds as well as a few other interesting things I’ll share with you visually.
Interesting growth patterns or galls ?? on the trunk of an old Oak tree
Pinipevine (the plant on which the Pipevine Swallowtail we observed in Aug lays its eggs) 
Sadly, this tree has been girdled by deer and will likely die 
Cliff Swallow nests

The munchkins haven’t yet illustrated their observations in their journals.  I am curious what they will select.  Along the walk, however, I collected several twig samples for a twig study I hope to accomplish in the next few days.

About Eva Varga

Eva is passionate about education. She has extensive experience in both formal and informal settings. She presently homeschools her two young children, teaches professional development courses through the Heritage Institute, and writes a middle level secular science curriculum called Science Logic. In addition to her work in education, she is an athlete, competing in Masters swimming events and marathons. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, learning new languages, and above all spending time with her family. ♥

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