Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Show and Tell

My first grade students know I like birds.  Every now and then I show them my blog or flickr site with different photos of birds.  Whenever we're outside, they know to be on the lookout for birds.  A couple of weeks ago one of my first grade students came to school very excited that he had seen a hawk in his backyard.  I was thinking Cooper's Hawk and showed him some photos online.  But he wasn't convinced.  So the next day he brought me a CD of some photos his dad had taken of a Red-tailed Hawk.  I projected them on the board and Francisco began an elaborate presentation to his classmates of his hawk sighting.  He drew laughs when he told them his little sister had named the hawk "Hawkie".  He dramatically demonstrated to us how the hawk hopped and pounced on a horned lizard.  There was even an action shot of the hawk carrying the "horny toad" to its perch on the fence.  We were told, "This is where the hawk ripped it to pieces and ate it."  So cool!  He did such a great job, I had him give the presentation again in the afternoon to another class.  For his bravery and enthusiasm I gave him a bird calendar from Project FeederWatch.  I think we have a potential birder on our hands, or maybe even an ornithologist!  Yesterday he asked me if I knew what DNA was.  He said, "I could get a feather from a bird and take it to the museum.  Then they could test it and trace it back to the dinosaurs!"  How about that from a six year old!!!

Red-tailed Hawk with horned lizard

*Photos used with parent's permission. 

Read another story about my amazing first graders!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shoot Me Monday

This Solitary Sandpiper has been present for the past few months at Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson, AZ.  They are very rare in Southeast Arizona after the first week of October, with only a couple records from late October and December.  The Solitary Sandpiper is a rule breaker.  Although it is not truly solitary, it does not migrate in large flocks like most shorebirds.  It does not nest on the ground like most shorebirds either.  Instead, it lays its eggs in the tree nests of several different songbirds.  The only other sandpiper in the world that is known to do this is the Green Sandpiper of Eurasia.  Have a fantastic week! 

InfoNatura: Animals and Ecosystems of Latin America [web application]. 2007. Version 5.0 . Arlington, Virginia (USA): NatureServe. Available: http://www.natureserve.org/infonatura. (Accessed: November 28, 2011 ).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  I photographed this Wild Turkey in Madera Canyon while on a stakeout for a Fan-tailed Warbler in May.  The good news, fantastic news, is I got to see the warbler on the last day it was seen.  Bad news, it was too distant and in low light to get a photo.  But others did get some great photos.  Have a great day!

***Blogger is being wacko again and won't show my older posts on the main page.  Please see the Blog Archive on the right side for older posts.