Saturday, May 9, 2015

Project Based Learning - Bird Sanctuary

This year for science the elementary girls used the Flying Creatures book from The Exploring Creation series by Jeannie Fulbright. I knew that once the temperatures warmed up and we just started having nicer days that some type of end of the year project was in order. I decided that constructing a bird sanctuary would be something everyone could enjoy for days of nature journaling.

Our very first project was making suet to see what type of birds would be attracted to it. This was a very messy job (that the girls of course loved) with lots of ingredients. We used the same recipe that comes from the Flying Creatures book.

The past couple of years we had tried growing potatoes and other vegetables in this raised bed, but with lots of trees the sun is kept to a minimum. Hubby helped me clean it out and we discovered it would be an awesome location for the bird sanctuary.  We set up four different types of feeders with three different types of seed or suet. Hands down the favorite was plain old sunflower seed.
As you can see in the picture above, for a couple of weeks we were so blessed with tons of gold finches, indigo buntings, etc. The count on the gold finches alone were about 20 or more at a time. I think they were either passing through or maybe it was mating season. To see 5-7 buntings at once eating is pleasure and bliss at its best.

Getting to see about 10-12 different species of birds every day has inspired the girls in their nature journaling. Even Grace has become inspired and comes out with us to watch and sketch. Last year Grace used half of her year in science to read and study about birds, so this bird sanctuary is a great time to review everything she learned during that time.

On our deck is a small covered area that we can all relax to observe the birds and their habits.

If we find ourselves stressed the natural tendency is to go sit and watch the birds. Very calming.

Grace drew a Rose -Breasted Grosebeak a few days ago for her journal.

One of my students sketched a gold finch.
You simply never know when something you create with inspire. This one has definitely inspired us all.

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