Friday, February 25, 2011

Foto Friday

For other FF click here.

This little guy held on for dear life for about 15 minutes.

I *think* he is an American Goldfinch.  We were still able to see him hopping around our yard five days later and looking a little less downy.  This picture was taken of my birdbath in the front yard.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Birding 101: Sketching Birds

Once the boys learned the basics, mastered binocular usage, and found their friend, the camera, they caught the birding bug BIG TIME!

Bird watching was something we did wherever we went...while eating a picnic lunch, while waiting in line at the drive-thru, even while riding in the car!

And birds started showing up all around my house in the form of art work!  Around here, getting a sketch of a ruby-throated hummingbird means you are really loved!!

It was not long until our classroom turned into a bird-printing studio, and there is just so much room on the fridge for these kinds of pictures.  And ALL of the pictures had to be displayed as not to hurt any one's feelings (or as the boys pointed out, the birds' feelings were fragile, too).

So I bought each boy a spiral art journal and kept them on a desk under the classroom window.  I had the desk stocked with colored pencils, a sharpener, regular no. 2 pencils, and erasers.  From this spot they could easily see our feeders and keep a log of many of the birds that visited us each day.

They drew pictures of which birds they identified
in the time they watched
and labeled each bird.
I also had them write a short sentence
about each scene.
Sometimes they would notice other birds
at places other than the feeder.
Their journal page had to depict
where the birds were seen.
Sometimes they saw birds in trees.
Notice they noted details like seeing two nests.

Other times birds would show up at interesting locations
like on my car.
This particular female cardinal
hovered around my car's side mirrors
all day!
We called her our pet bird!!
Carolina wrens nested behind our shed,
and we would see them hopping
around it all day.
In this entry, Wilbur drew a black vulture,
but he also wrote a list of the other birds
he saw that day.
He also included "honk, honk"
because he heard a Canada Goose
but did not see it.
On this page,
Orville did a good job sketching
the Downy's behavior.
He also included the date
of his entry.
On some pages of their journals,
the boys made notes of
mnemonics they used to memorize
birds songs.
Orville shares three of his favorite birds and their mnemonics
on this page.
The Hooded Warbler says, "I've a little, pretty hood."
The Killdeer says, "Hot Pockets."
The Red-winged Black Bird says, "Oh my red wing!"
Wilbur wants everyone to know
that the Indigo Bunting says,
"I am Mommy's favorite bird,
yes, I am!"
I will write more about mnemonics
in a future post.

We also included other "special" pages... graphs of how many of each bird
were seen over a set period of time.
and instructional pages
like the one pictured above that Wilbur drew
to show the differences between
an American Crow and a Raven.
It seemed that drawing birds increased the boys love
for the great outdoors and for their feathered friends.
Their abilities as artists grew, too.

Two years later,
Wilbur painted this Ruby-throated Hummingbird
and won 4th place in a Crayola contest!
They loved these assignments, too!
Don't just take my word on that.
You can read what Orville has to say about sketching birds here
and what Wilbur thinks here!

Want to get started
Drawing with Your Children-
Nature Style?
Join B4L's very own Heather
for a weekly meme!

bird for button

Barb, the Harmony Art Mom, has compiled a great set of lesson plans to be used with the book Drawing with Children.  This book follows a teaching structure very similar to the one I used with my boys when completing the journals pictured in this post.  I highly recommend it to you!  Her plans will tie in with Heather's meme, too, so your children will have a format for sharing their work.  I hope you will join the sketching and nature fun!

Join me next time when I will tweet about the mnemonics I mentioned earlier in this post!

Until we tweet again...

Bird Nest Pudding

For Valentine's Breakfast this year, I made this recipe for Bird's Nest Pudding.  Apparently it was popular during the 1850's and was brought over from Sweden (so infers the Kirsten American Girl book).

Most of my kids liked it.  I liked that it was not really sweet, I used tart apples.  Although, I do suggest buying an apple corer to speed up the process. 

This would be great fun to make during a Bird Study or in celebration of the Great Backyard Bird Count next year!!


Monday, February 21, 2011

GBBC 2011, The Olive Plants' 3rd and Last Report

We did not get to do as much birding today as we had hoped.  Neither Michael nor I slept well due to a persistant cough, so we waited to take our last bird outing after dinner.  We went to a dam which creates the lake covering a very large portion of our county.

The weather was lovely, sunny and breezy, and we got to watch the sun set over the lake.  However, there had been a controlled burn in the area earlier in the week which made song birds scarce.  We found two forested areas that had not been burned, but there were campers in both areas who were enjoying very loud music.  So, we did not see or hear much there either.

Also the road across the dam was closed, hindering our ability to get a close-up view of the hundreds of water birds that perch along the rocks and fishing nets along the base of the dam.  I am sure we missed some species and did not get as accurate of a count as if we could have driven further in.  Still we were able to positively identify a large number of birds. 

Here is what we saw or heard:
  • 17 Canada geese
  • 210 Ring-billed gulls
  • 1 Killdeer
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 3 Brown-headed Nuthatches
  • 5 American Robins
  • 1 Belted Kingfisher
  • 2 Eastern Towhees
  • 50 American Coots
  • 500 Double-crested Cormorants
  • 1 Great Blue Heron
  • 4 House Sparrows
  • 1 Mockingbird
Total number of species identified for all three days:  49

Total number of birds counted over all three days:  1,499

If you are new to bird watching, keep in mind that we have been at this for five years and know our area really well.  There are A LOT of prime birding locations in our county, and over the years, we have learned what to keep an eye (and an ear) out for.  If you know me irl or are a certain internet friend who wants to come visit me (you know who you are), come on down some time, and I'll take you to all the good spots. 

Maybe we can have our own blogging/birding convention, hmmm....

What would we call it?




I don't know.  That's sounds more like a convention for Swedes.  Maybe, we'll just all call ourselves the Birding Chicks!

How was your GBBC weekend?  Please do tell!

Happy Birding!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

GBBC 2011, The Olive Plants' 2nd Report

We drove around our neighborhood today for about an hour and then took lunch to a picnic area near the lake.  We have an expansive lake in our county, so there are many parks, picnic areas and campgrounds.    It was a gorgeous day, the first pretty Saturday we've had in many weeks. 

Our neighborhood is located in downtown.  We are on a main street, and there is a small neighborhood that backs up to our house.  Most of the houses in that circle have multiple feeders and there are a variety of mature trees.  We watched our feeders for about half an hour and then drove around the circle, pulling over to the side of the road from time to time for a better look.  The neighborhood backs up to a park and outdoor athletic complex where there are mature trees and a pond.  We drove through the complex, stopping at the pond for a closer look.  Here is what we saw or heard:
  • 1 chickadee
  • 4 blue jays
  • 5 northern cardinals
  • 1 yellow-rumped warbler
  • 6 mockingbirds
  • 7 mourning doves
  • 2 tufted titmice
  • 2 brown-headed nuthatches
  • 100 (at least, we did our best to get an accurate count but must estimate due to the overwhelming quantity and movement) red-winged blackbirds
  • 3 worm-eating warblers
  • 125 (again estimating; the trees and lawns were covered) American robins
  • 100 + grackles
  • 100 + European starlings
  • 4 brown thrashers
  • 15 cedar waxwings
  • 3 eastern bluebirds
  • 5 black vultures
  • 1 house finch
  • 1 Tennessee warbler
  • 1 chipping sparrow
  • 1 pine warbler
  • 1 red-tailed hawk
  • 9 American Crows
  • 3 Canada geese
  • 2 turkey vultures
  • 4 house sparrows
The picnic area near the lake is forested, mostly pines.  Here is what we saw or heard there:
  • 4 American Crows
  • 3 fish crows
  • 4 brown-headed nuthatches
  • 2 tufted titmice
  • 1 belted kingfisher
  • 3 eastern bluebirds
  • 1 great blue heron
  • 1 red-tailed hawk
  • 1 eastern towhee
  • 4 Carolina chickadees
  • 3 pine warblers
  • 1 downy woodpecker
  • 1 muscovey duck
  • 3 mallards
  • 5 snow geese
  • 1 ring-billed gull
We drove through a new, in-town subdivision to find the house where my husband will tutor this week.  It is in town but forested, mostly pines.  Here is what we saw or heard there:
  • 1 eastern towhee
  • 3 song sparrows
  • 1 robin
Before returning home, we stopped at Kroger.  It is located along a major highway.  While there we saw:
  • 3 American crows
  • 1 rock pigeon
That is all we feel like accomplishing today.  I have ginger tea brewing for our coughs, and we're about to take some meds and dream about birds instead of seek them.  Nightie, night.  Lord willing, we will be better by Monday.  It is our plan to end our birding weekend with a bang at one of the prime birding locations in our state.  Please pray for our health.

Please, do tell what you are seeing.  I really want to read your reports!  If you are posting about what you are finding, leave a link in comments.  When I sleep off the decongestant, I will hop on over and read about your day!

Happy Birding!

Friday, February 18, 2011

GBBC 2011, The Olive Plants' 1st Report

Today I awoke at 3 a.m. sick with a cold that has been passing through our house this week.  My turn!  I had planned to take the boys birding in the morning today since that is usually when birds are most active; however, it took me until lunchtime to muster up the energy to take them out.

We went to three different locations, the first of which was a park on the lake in our county.  Mostly we drove through the park, stopping at two different docks to get out and take a look around.  The area is forested, mostly pines.  Here is what we saw or heard:
  • 5 cedar waxwings
  • 2 Canada geese
  • 3 pileated woodpeckers
  • 1 mourning dove
  • 4 fish crows
  • 2 red-winged blackbirds
  • 1 European starling
  • 9 American crows
  • 4 killdeer
  • 3 belted kingfishers
  • 1 blue jay
  • 1 white-breasted nuthatch
  • 2 Carolina chickadees
  • 5 tufted titmice
  • 1 eastern phoebe
  • 2 downy woodpeckers
  • 1 American robin
  • 3 eastern bluebirds
  • 1 BALD EAGLE! (It swooped down so close to us we did not need binoculars to i.d. it!)
  • 2 ring-billed gulls
  • 1 eastern meadowlark
  • 7 pine warblers
  • 4 brown-headed nuthatches
  • 1 red-bellied woodpecker
  • 1 great blue heron
  • 2 red-shouldered hawks
  • 3 Turkey vultures
Then we met my husband at the high school where he teaches.  We saw these birds in the trees surrounding the school:
  • 1 blue jay
  • 1 mockingbird
  • 2 house finches
  • 2 northern cardinals
  • 2 song sparrows
We made a quick stop at a church with a pond in front.  It is surrounded by pine trees and is located on a major highway.  Here is what we saw there:
  • 2 killdeer
  • 2 Muscovy
  • 6 snow geese
  • 8 mallards
  • 3 Canada geese
  • 2 American black ducks
Next we drove through the subdivision where my parents live.  It is a new development and is mostly forested.  Here is what we identified there:
  • 2 American crows
  • 10 field sparrows
  • 1 pileated woodpecker
  • 1 Carolina chickadee
We took note of what we saw as we drove from place to place, too.  We spotted these birds along the roadside in town:
  • 13 American robins
  • 3 American crows
Tomorrow we plan to bird watch at our feeders and in our neighborhood.  If everyone in our family feels well, we will go to another spot along the lake.

Happy Birding!

GBBC 2011- #1

Hop over to Kingdom Arrows where I am keeping my running tab for the GBBC!

Have you seen anything unusual?  Please share your top observations!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Birding 101: The camera is your friend.

In our early days of bird watching,
we played games to learn to use binoculars with ease.

However, birds are movers and shakers!  We do not always get the time to watch a bird for as long as we need to make an accurate identification.

Sometimes, even when we get a good, long look at a bird, there still is not enough time to take in all the details.  The differences between some birds, particularly sparrows, are minute and challenge even seasoned bird watchers.

Can you tell which birds are at this feeder?

It did not take long for me to realize that the camera is our friend!

While the boys would look through binocs, I would look through the lens of my camera and snap as many shots as possible.  If time allowed, I would switch to the video camera and record the bird in action.  This allowed us to notice more about the bird's movements and habitat, an important part of nature study.

Even if you can't get in close enough with your camera
to get a crystal-clear view... can zoom in even closer
with your photo editor,
giving you the view you need
to make a positive i.d.

At the end of each birding outing, we would sit down in a shady spot or return home and look through my photo journal of the day.  It was very  easy to notice details in the photos and match our pictures to the pictures in our field guides.

The best part was that the birds we identified this way became cemented in our visual memories.  Soon we could identify a large number of birds without the assistance of a field guide.  We often double check, just to be sure!  However, the camera has been our best teacher.

You can email pictures of birds
to birding friends for confirmation, too.
Two heads are always better than one.
Heather and I regularly email pictures to each other.
At least I do, when I have a working camera!
I borrowed all the pictures in this post from her.
Thanks Heather!
After the boys had seen several close-up shots of all those pretty bird details, they wanted to create sketches of their own!  Next time I will tweet about how we incorporated bird sketching into our school day!

Until we tweet again...
Dawn, for the Olive Plants

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Little Bird, A Poem

The Little Bird
It flies from tree to tree,
so cheerfully.

Then, Oh, like the wind,
it flutters and flies
down from the tree-top
up to the skies.

age 13

Kae-Kae is Heather's daughter and wanted her own part in the bird blog, since she is a bird lover, too!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Birding 101: Using Binoculars

After the boys gained a little knowledge and experienced the fun of identifying the birds which are common to our region, they needed training on how to use binoculars.

Using binocs was challenging for both boys at first but particularly for Orville.  He is legally blind in one eye and wears progressive bifocals.  He cannot see anything more than a distorted, fuzzy jumble of colors without his glasses, and he found using binocs to be very challenging, particularly inexpensive beginner binocs.

I am forever thankful for my friend Molly who did some research and found these Leupold binoculars with lens pieces that easily twist into place for use with glasses.

You don't necessarily need a $100 pair of binoculars for every child in your family who wants to bird watch and whether or not a child is ready to properly care for an expensive piece of equipment has to be determined by each family.  However, I do recommend that you ditch the inexpensive beginner binocs as soon as you can.  At least have one pair of good binocs that can be shared.  It really enhances the bird watching experience and alleviates frustration when trying to identify a new bird.

Once we found binoculars that worked for us, there was still some training to be done.  It takes practice to be able to find a bird and bring it in to focus. 

We use these steps:
  1. Find the bird without binoculars first. 
  2. Take note of any features of its surroundings that might help you find it if you "lose your place", like clumps of leaves or a curve in the tree.
  3. Once the bird is in your line of sight, move the binoculars to your eyes without moving your head.
  4. If you do not immediately see the bird, move your binoculars slowly and with small movements to the left, then to the right, then up, then down, until you find it.  Look for your "landmark" along the way.
  5. Once you find the bird, use your dominate pointer finger to adjust the focus knob until you have a clear view.
Sounds easy, right?  Not really.  And it takes practice.  Here are a few fun activities we did to gain experience....

Hide Easter eggs around your backyard or at a local playground.

Place them in a variety of locations, some easy to spot...

...and others a little more difficult.

Have your children find them using their binoculars
and describe the color of egg and its location
 to a sibling, friend or you.

You can make this game as easy or difficult as you like, increasing the difficulty as your children's skills advance.  Eventually, I drew stripes, dots and other "field marks" onto our eggs so that the boys would learn to take notice of more than one attribute.  Other times, I would hide several eggs but pick a "golden egg".  They had to meet the challenge of finding the blue egg with green dots and purple stripes, for example.

We also went to this spot,
one of the most beautiful look-outs in our state,
to play a game of I Spy.

Each of us would take turns saying,
"I spy with my little BI-noculars
a white roof."
Do you see the barn with the white roof, too?
It is easy to find with binocs!

Soon they would play without me.
It was a fun brother game
in which they were very motivated
to challenge each other!

Even though these games increased their binocular-using skills, sometimes binoculars just weren't enough.  Join me next time when I will tweet about cameras!  They are a bird watcher's friend!

Until we tweet again...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bird Nest Wreath

Now that is is nesting time, I finally made this wreath I have been wanting to make for a long time.

I got the original idea from here.

I originally thought I would make it all "green" and out of all natural ingredients.  But, I decided I wanted red yarn so we could try to see what nests may have our supplies in them.  The cost was less than $10, and happened to be cheaper for me since I had some of this stuff laying around in our craft closet. 

Supplies needed:
  • grapevine wreath
  • Spanish moss
  • raffia
  • feathers
  • yarn (cut into 6 inch strips)
My feathers and yarn were made of polyester, but everything else is degradable.  I just wove and wrapped all the goodies around the grapevine wreath.  I tied the raffia on with raffia, so I did not have to use a glue gun at all. 

Let me know if you make one.  I can't wait to see who will be the first to shop at my wreath for nesting materials!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Birding 101: Know Your Parts

So now that you know us Olive Plants a little better, it's time to get to know your parts better...your birding parts, that is!

Our first birding outing was hysterical. 

At least thinking back on it is hysterical.  At the time, it was exhausting and frustrating.

I loaded down the boys, ages 5 and 6 at the time, with all the "necessary" gear.  Each carried his own binoculars, a field guide, the Les Beletsky Bird Songs book, an Identiflyer and a backpack containing a journal, colored pencils, snacks and water.  We were ready to do some serious bird watching! 

As you can imagine, within minutes they were hot and tired and couldn't find many birds.  When they did see a bird, by the time they could get the binoculars to their eyes and start to focus, it had flown away.  Or if they got a good view of the bird, they would forget what it looked like as they flipped through the field guide.  And trying to scroll through all those bird calls and songs in the Beletsky book was FRUSTRATING! 

I wondered if they were too young or if birding wasn't something they really wanted to do.  However, within a few weeks we went back to the same spot, and they were fully engaged and loving every minute of bird watching.  What made the difference?  I think it was a change I made in our approach.

Instead of jumping in feet first, we took some time to build our knowledge.  We began by learning the parts of a bird.

The resource we found most helpful was Jeannie Fulbright's Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day (Apologia).  This is a great science course for the elementary years and gave my boys the basic knowledge I was seeking for them.  She writes in a way that kids can easily understand but does not water-down the content.  Soon we were able to discuss birds in a very specific way.

This bird has a yellow rump.

This bird has black and white wing bars.

This bird has a curved beak.

Having a well-developed birding vocabulary helped my boys to quickly recognize and retain what they would see while bird watching and be able to communicate that information to other members of their bird watching team.  You may not be preparing to bird competitively, but it is still fun to bird watch as a group and important to be able to tell your birding friends what you have seen.  This knowledge also helps birders navigate their field guides much more quickly (but more on that another day!).

We also completed Notebooking Page's Nature Study- Birds, the complete set.  These pages allowed us to create our own "field guide". 

I selected 3-5 birds per week for us to study.  We read about the birds of the week in our real field guides and examined each bird's shape, size, color, bill shape and size, silhouette, and field marks very closely.  Then the boys completed the notebooking page for each bird, paying particular attention to coloring with detail.  Of course, young children are not going to color with complete accuracy but I encouraged them to make their picture as realistic as possible and praised them for including details like eye stripes or wing bars, even if they weren't spot on.

The Notebooking pages
allow children to color accurate representations
of the birds to be learned
and to learn important birding skills
such as reading a range map.

Once the pages for the week were completed, we kept our eyes peeled for those birds.  I set up feeders close to our school room windows so we could easily watch for them to show up throughout the day.  We went for a daily walk around our neighborhood where there are a lot of houses with multiple feeders.  We visited a local birding hot spot at least once per week.  I made sure the first 20-something birds they learned were very common birds which they would be sure to see regularly.  Success came quickly and enthusiasm grew!

During this stage of learning, when we did venture out into the field, I carried the only pair of binoculars and one field guide.  We did not try to journal or take pictures.  We only identified what we had studied.  I wasn't trying to stifle their curiosity but build interest while alleviating frustration.  Within a few weeks, they were ready to discover more.  They were noticing birds besides the common ones they knew and were eager to identify them, too.     

That's when we took the next step and I taught them how to use their very own binoculars.  I will tweet more about that next time!

Until we tweet again...
Dawn, for the Olive Plants

Disclosure: I am an affliliate for and  If you make a purchase from either site after following the links provided in this post, I will receive a commission.  I have not been otherwise compensated for writing this post and have provided my honest evaluation of each product.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Foto Friday and Great Backyard Bird Count

Pine Siskins at our feeder.
This may not seem a very exciting picture, but for a bird lover, to have any bird come to your feeder for the first time is fun.  It is also wonderful to be able to add another bird to your Life List.

  Thanks to our new friends at Renaissance who let us participate in Foto Friday.  Check out the other great pics!

It is ONE WEEK from today that the GBBC starts.  This means you have not missed it!  Click here to read the rules.  You only have to do a minimum of 15 minutes, although once you get started bird counting, you and your kids  might be hooked!  There are also educational ideas for this week that you can use in schooling and for nature study. 

If you enjoy the GBBC, you might want to consider participating in a monthly Bird List called Tweet and See.  Click here to learn more about it. 


Monday, February 7, 2011

How It All Began: The Olive Plants' Story

I used to have absolutely no interest in the great outdoors. In my opinion, outside was just a place to get bug bites and allergy attacks. I could never understand why people stood around under trees peering upward through binoculars until they gave themselves a crick in the neck.

Then I went to a homeschool support group meeting and everything changed.

We had lived in our new hometown for almost two years but we had dragged our feet in becoming active members of the community again. There were painful circumstances surrounding our move, and it took me some time to feel like being a contributing member of society again.

A lady named Molly (you may know her as the Counter-cultural Mom) spoke that night about a birding competition. One of her sons wanted to enter and needed a teammate. She was also considering entering her next youngest son who would also need a birding buddy. My boys were the perfect ages to partner with hers, and the four boys had already met at church and hit it off.

My boys really needed friends at the time. Here’s where I could rehash hard feelings and tell a big blubbery tale but will instead let it suffice to say that the boys had been hurt before our move, too, and really needed good friends.

As Molly spoke that night, I didn’t really comprehend what she was saying concerning bird watching or a competition. I just heard “teammates” and knew that would require my boys spending time with her boys and wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to develop an already budding friendship. After the meeting, I eagerly volunteered us as their teammates.

The next day I realized what I had done.

I had made a commitment to go bird watching!


And competitively at that!

I barely knew what a robin was. How was I going to teach my children to identify enough birds to be competent teammates?

Fortunately, Molly, whom I call the Queen of Resourcefulness, set me up with several great books, field guides and audio collections. She helped us find binoculars that Orville, who is legally blind in one eye and wears progressive bifocals, could use. She introduced us to Audubon birds, too. Boy, did that change our lives.

We also started a weekly bird watching club for the boys and alternated teaching responsibilities. That's when I caught the birding bug. As I prepared fun ways for the boys to memorize calls, to learn how to use binoculars, to practice using a field guide and to get outside to find birds, I finally understood exactly why people stand under trees peering upward.

Please don't read too much into this, but I did a lot of healing while bird watching. I could not have recovered from painful events without the Word of God, prayer, worship, Christian counseling…but I needed that time with good friends and a good hobby, too.

It was comforting to spend time with the Counter-cultural boys and their sweet mom, Molly, just being friends and doing something we all loved. Each time we saw a new bird, the excitement of it was a salve to my soul. Reminders of God's greatness and goodness were all around us, and every time He sent a bird our way, it was a reminder that His eye is on me, that He loves me, and that He wisely governs all things, even minor details like where little birds fly and perch.

In months to come, I am going to share some of the lessons I developed to teach the boys during those early days of birding. I praise God for His unwavering faithfulness to me and for blessing me with teaching ideas and I look forward to what He has in store for me in this new venture.

Until we tweet again...
Dawn, for the Olive Plants

How To Identify Birds, The Basics

I wanted to walk you through how I learned a new bird according to his sound.

I was walking the dog this morning and this is the second time I have heard this bird.  I could tell it was in these woods, and that is was up in a tree, not on the ground, even though I could not see it.

I knew enough from the raspy, loud sound that I needed to start looking in the Bird of Prey category.  I went to this website and checked out the birds of prey, clicking through to the Hawk section.

Then I got my handy-dandy favorite Bird book, the Kaufman, and looked to see which Hawks are in my area.  That REALLY helps narrow down your options.  I discovered there were only about four that I could consider.  So, I clicked on those and listened to them.  I had it narrowed down between a  Red Tailed Hawk and a Northern Harrier.  Then I read the Kaufman for the habitat and living location of each Hawk, and decided that it must be a Red Tailed Hawk, since they live high up in trees.  The harrier does does not like to be high off the ground. 

Picture from Wikipedia

So, it took a few steps, but now I am confident that I can now identify the Red Hawk by sound and obervation, which means I  added to my knowledge and ease of identifying another bird today. 


I am an affiliate for Amazon, if you click through here to order, I make a tiny amount of money.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Dawn has actually opened her blog, Birders for Life, for me to offer some little peeps and tweets on here.  Actually, I have hijacked it for now and she does not even know I am writing a post.  Just call me Ghost Bird.

Actually, you can visit me at Kingdom Arrows, under normal circumstances.  But, I will introduce myself a little.  I have four children and we became a birding family one year ago.  Olive Plants and family encouraged us to enter the Georgia Youth Birding Competition since Tennessee did not have one, so we jumped in with both feet and began learning birds.  Dawn is going to post her Birding 101 posts here, so you will learn how to get started.  She also has great birding stories to tell.   Dawn is very creative and is a hands on teacher.  I will cheep in on how to make birding a part of your homeschooling routine and how to continue beyond the basic 30-45 birds you will be able to learn quickly.  I am an expert on that, since that is right where my family is in our learning process. 

This is a place for all things Birds.  So if you are lay ornithologists, or if you just think birds are pretty, stick around.  Olive Plants and Kingdom Arrows are our "home" blogs where we will continue to chronicle our journey as homeschool moms, wives, and tell other stories of our families.  This is a place for us to share one of our passions with you and each other (did I tell you we were in each other's weddings?).