It was a very pleasant day – though unfortunately I did not have much time to spend out in it, being fairly well booked with phone calls and teaching. I did spend a few moments out on the south deck in the warm sun a couple of different times, then this evening I took some pictures of the moon, Jupiter, and some stars (it was much less warm at that time). Rowan and Connor spotted a Merlin this morning. I saw it a couple of times this afternoon, though never got a very good look at it. I’m hoping to spend a bit more time outside tomorrow – so perhaps it will stop by again and I might be able to get pictures of it.
Inspired by one of the shares on this morning’s call as well as last week’s exercise, I asked the kids to come up with the rules for playing “The Owl Game”. They/we came up with a hide-and-seek type of game where the Owl (seeker) looks for prey (hiders). Since owls hunt by sound, the prey must make little noises (perhaps rustling paper). We didn’t flesh out all the details, but thought it should take place in the dark, and perhaps blindfolded (though the latter might be for more advanced play). We’ve not had a chance to try it yet, but I’m sure we will.
This week’s assignment is to start getting to know some neighborhood birds, preferably ground feeders. I have already been trying to pay more attention to the Song Sparrow(s) that seem to spend a fair amount of time along either side of the fence line south of the house (see photo below from early January). Dark-eyed Juncos are pretty frequent visitors to the yard as well. In the past I’ve heard Winter Wrens, but not lately, and I’m not sure whether that’s because they are being quiet or if there are not any around the yard currently. One of the questions we were asked to consider is where the birds sleep. Not sure if I will be able to figure that out or not as I’m pretty sure the juncos don’t sleep in the yard (I routinely see them flying north/northeast in the late afternoon), however my guess is the Song Sparrow does sleep somewhere close.