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!


We're still here! May 25, 2011

We haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, despite my lack of posting. 🙂  The weather is finally getting nicer here, so we’ve been out of the school room and spending our days outside gardening and enjoying nature.  I’ve also been spending this time getting prepared to start homeschooling Jedi in June.  We got our homeschooling approval letter from our county, and Jedi’s officially excused from school after the end of this school year.

So, while I get prepared for that, Monkey and Bug have been spending less time in the school room.  That’s ok though–like I said, it’s been gorgeous out and that’s what they need to be concentrating on right now. 🙂  That, and the school room is under construction again (about a month and a half ago, we had a flood in our house that destroyed part of our first floor and finished basement, and so the insurance company and contractors have it torn apart so it can be fixed again. 🙂 )  So, my regular montessori and homeschooling posts will be back mid June. 🙂

In the meantime…here are some pictures of our outdoor learning…

A gorgeous post-thunderstorm sunset.

We have a guest living in our garden beds! I went out to pick salad greens, and found this killdeer egg.

Day 2...a 2nd egg showed up!

And here's mama bird! She lets me go over to the garden, but if the kids come over, she does some cool theatrics. Killdeer pretend to have a broken wing if something comes too close to the nest. They hope that the predator will follow the easy prey (hurt bird) and leave the nest alone, but then when you come close to the bird, it up and flies away. The broken wing 'dance' is amazing!

More of the wing dance...

More of the wing dance...

More of the wing dance...

Mama bird watching me harvest.

Day 3! A third egg!

Turkey vulture really close to the house.

Frogs in our little pond

Bigger frog in the pond

The garden beds--where the killdeer nest is has the herbs, next to it has the salad greens, spinach, broccoli, and oregano. There is also red potatoes, cilantro, onions, green onions, cantelope, bush beans, and cucumbers.

The first box is strawberries, the second box has green peppers, banana peppers, hot peppers, and lemon basil. The far box has tomatoes and basil.