We have had a great week talking about birds. The weather has been beautiful, if a little chilly still in the mornings, and the birds have been very active and have been singing their hearts out. We looked at some bird images flying by at bird speeds (held by a teacher running by) and practiced seeing what identifying factors we could notice, like color, size, speed, beak shape. We read a beautiful book called Nest, about a pair of robins and their nesting process, and we played a fun nesting game where the kids as birds gathered resources and worked together to chase away nest predators. Yesterday we read Baby Wren and the Great Gift, a sweet, whimsical book about the origin of bird song, and we practiced listening and copying some bird songs. Then Shanley Narens, Luna's mom, came to play viola for us at lunchtime. That was a fun time! We heard some classical music and some old favorites and had a jam session.
Today all planned lessons were scrapped when the kids found 7 owl pellets and heard the pair of barred owls call to each other in our play area during lesson time!!!! The owls were executing their very distinctive call "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?", and the kids could hear the different intonations of the two different individual owls as they called the same call to each other from different locations. Their pellets were full of interesting, tiny bones. Some were mostly mammal and fur, and another had larger bones and some feathers and was a different consistency, rather clearly indicating some variety in their diet. It appears that they are nesting in our play area, and the fact that they are more active in the daytime than many owls means that we will likely keep seeing and hearing them.