Wednesday, January 2, 2008

We've got snow and snowbirds!

It snowed throughout the night, and we woke this morning to a beautiful covering of the soft, fluffy kind of snow. The temperature was down in the low teens, but this afternoon, we bundled up Superman and Giggly Girl, and Kurt took them out to sled for awhile. They were so excited to get out of the house and play in the stuff!

Earlier in the day, we had a fun teachable moment while watching the birds out at the feeders. I noticed several small, greyish birds with white breasts that I had not remembered seeing before. I called the kids over to look, and Giggly Girl asked if we could look them up in our bird book. We discovered that we were looking at juncos, also known as snowbirds. How very appropriate that we made their acquaintance on one of the first really snowy days of the season. After studying the pictures in our book, we realized that we have males, females, and juveniles coming to our feeders. All three have unique colorations and markings. Superman asked what they sounded like, and just as I was about to look up their birdcall online, I remembered the Stokes guide my mother gave us for Christmas. It includes a CD of common birdsongs, and sure enough, it has the junco's song! So we popped that in and listened for a moment, and then opened the window (yes, it was very cold!) to see if we could hear the same tune. The snow made everything out back seem so quiet, but we were able to faintly hear the dainty song of the snowbirds. The look on the children's faces was priceless. (Don't you just love it when something unexpected comes together better than if you had tried to plan it? LOL!)

I wanted to snap a picture of the little birds, but the feeders are too far away from the window for the zoom on my camera to reach. I even tried sneaking up on the critters, but they all flew away before I had taken two steps. I will leave you with the picture I did take. All you can really see are the feeders and a few specks on the ground that are our new friends, the juncos.
Below that you'll see an up close image that I Googled.




I am thankful to see looks of wonder and excitement on my children's faces when we discover something of God's creation that is new to us. This time last year we had not yet embarked on our Nature Study adventures, so I'm excited to see all that this winter holds in store for us. I do have to admit, though, that I'm not as excited about the half hour it takes to bundle up three children before we can venture outdoors! :)

5 comments:

  1. I just love the little juncos! They're so tiny and cute :) I didn't know they were called "Snowbirds". I'll have to tell my little girls. I hear you on the bundling up part, too. I always have to pray before I start getting them ready. I can get grumpy at those snowboots pretty fast! :)

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  2. I honestly have never heard of a Junco- what a beautiful little bird! thanks for the post!

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  3. I had a very similar experience last week!

    I had been trying to coerce birds to our new backyard "bird sanctuary", but all we had for a few days were squirrels.

    Then one morning I noticed the most adorable little white-breasted guys! I went to www.whatbird.com and narrowed it down until I figured out they were juncos! SO cute, aren't they?

    I didn't know they were called snowbirds either! I will have to tell Emme that, she will love it!

    Sherry

    http://educatingemme.blogspot.com

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  4. Shannon, I am linking this post to a Carnival. If that's a problem please let me know. It will be posted on Monday.

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  5. Hi! the new Homesteading Carnival is up featuring one of your posts, please come visit it at: http://theshadesofpink.blogspot.com!!!!

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