Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Bye Bye Birdies…… June 25, 2011

Filed under: Nature Studies — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 3:41 am
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So, now we officially have 2 empty nests at our house.  Yep…the little baby killdeer clan and the little baby robin clan have both left the nest and are playing in the neighborhood.  And both bird families were kind enough to allow us to see their babies grow up.  Now we get to watch them run all over the yard.

Here are some pictures of the last week with the 8 babies…

The little Robins Four, the day before flying lessons.


Waiting for breakfast


Resting up for the big moment...


The biggest of the birds making his final preparations for takeoff...


Seconds before take-off! (Which I didn't know was about to happen. And the bird ended up springing right towards me and almost landed right on me!)


And his big landing...right at the foot of the fencepost the nest was on. After peeking around at the kids, he decided to take off running around in the fields.


One of the killdeer babies running around near the raspberry bushes.


Mama killdeer and her baby


Little baby killdeer walking down the sidewalk



Some new bird babies! June 20, 2011

Filed under: Nature Studies — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 12:11 pm
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Our killdeer babies that have taken up residence in the veggie garden have finally hatched!  These little guys have been incubating for just about a month.  The differences between the killdeer babies and the robin babies are amazing.  The robin babies are still fairly helpless, even at a week old.  They’re also still pretty naked.  The killdeer babies came out fully feathered, and at a couple hours old, they were moving around the garden.  Today, they are running from garden bed to garden bed!  The kids got to learn the difference between precocial birds (birds that hatch fully feathered and able to hunt for food) and altricial birds (birds that hatch naked and are fairly helpless).  The longer incubation period of the killdeer happens so that these little ones are born ready to go (which is probably a good thing since killdeer tend to lay their eggs in the worst places…gravel beds, gardens, lawns, even dirt roads!)

Just an hour or so after hatching...their feathers are all still wet.

All snuggled together...

Mama bird watching over her babies.

Later yesterday, they had moved from over by the parsley to over by the mint.

Still all snuggled together as one unit though.

They are all dried off and fluffy though!

At 24 hours old, they were all in separate parts of the garden today. This little guy was running from garden bed to garden bed!

Seriously, he is the cutest little thing ever!

Hanging out in the potato plants (and it looks like mama bird's dragging the wood chips over there now. We don't have wood chips in the garden, but she managed to find some and plop them in various locations around the garden for her babies.)

And in the robin’s nest…

Day 6:

Still sleeping away. They are starting to look more and more like adult birds though!

The wing bones are getting really defined!

Day 7:

I can't believe how fast they are growing now! There is hardly any room in the nest to move.


Day 8:

They seem to overflow the nest now! This one's the oldest one, and he looks so much like an adult bird. I'm sure he'll start getting ready for flying practice soon!


Montessori Monday April 12, 2011

Monkey is 4 years 2 months old

This past week, we ended up doing several different nature studies as our main focus–we hit owls, birds, and insects!  Monkey loves learning about nature, so she really is drawn to nature-based activities.  Although, halfway through the “grosser” parts of the lessons, she decides to pretend things are a bit too gross.  She had me fooled thinking she wouldn’t touch the owl pellets, since she was walking around the room saying “I’m *not* touching owl puke!” over and over again.  Until I looked over and she was totally engrossed in dissecting her pellet and trying to match the bones to her bone chart!

Here are a few pictures from this week’s lessons…

Sorting animal cards into "feathers" or "fur", depending on their external body covering

Birds of Ohio 3 part cards

Close-up of the Birds of Ohio 3 part cards

Using the shoe tying puzzle

We added a bird and a nest to our spring tree!

Sorting birds into "birds that primarily walk on land", "birds that fly", and "birds that go in the water"

Working with the sandpaper letters

Feathers of various birds

Our Birds of Ohio and Owls of Ohio guidebook, and the Owls of Ohio soundtrack, all from our Department of Natural Resources

We also dissected owl pellets this week, and tried to figure out what animal the owls ate.

The replica of an owl's skull I had the kids observe

A couple of the books on the reading shelves for the insect unit

Insect X-Rays and matching cards

Lifecycle of a Bee and various insects in acrylic