We've done a lot with birds this past week. On Tuesday, we had some snowfall and I found these tracks:
I love how the sparrow tracks seem to make a U turn away from the cat prints.
On Thursday, we studied birds at the Nature Center. Class started with examining some of the stuffed birds the center has for display. Scott, our park ranger, showed how to look at different parts of the birds to help identify them. Next we were going to look at birds at the center's feeders. It was freezing outside, but luckily there is a nice big window to watch the feeders in comfort. I managed to get some great photos of the regulars. Here are a few of my favorites. You can see all of the photos on my Flickr page.
White Throated Sparrow:
They look cold, don't they? I'm glad I was inside. At one point Chase thought he saw an eagle, but the rest of us missed it. Eagles are pretty fast. I've never been able to get a photo of one in flight.
We also looked at some feathers under microscopes. This is the first time we ever tried to take pictures through a microscope. All three of us had some success. Again, you can see the full size pictures on Flickr. The first photo is some hawk feathers. I took that one. Chase took the second shot. I think those are blue jay feathers. I tried to show an enlargement of the details. Marina took the third photo of some blue jay down.
Watching birds is very therapeutic for me in the winter. Their bright feathers and birdsong remind me of spring and summer. You need that boost when snow has covered the ground all month.