Friday, May 22, 2009

May 2009 Bird Lab

We had a great time for our final lab of the year. Students made birdhouse gourds perfect for the Carolina Wren, our state bird. My mom and I searched high and low to find the gourds. We finally found a farmer in Royston Georgia who had a "boat load" of them!

Isn't my mom pretty? You would never know she is 85!! She's going to kill me when she sees this :) Here is how our gourds turned out. I didn't have time to take pictures of the children making them because I was too busy drilling, cleaning, staining, and making sure I didn't lose anybody!
Here are some pictures I found on the internet of some interesting birdhouse gourds.

This is my personal favorite.
Birds are very picky about their houses. If you should decide to do this at home, here are some guidelines to use for hanging and drilling the holes.
Bird SpeciesDiameter of HoleHeight above Ground

Nuthatch1" - 1-1/4"6-10
Bewick's Wren1-1/4"6-10
Carolina Wren1-1/2"6-10
Downy Woodpecker1-1/4"6-20
Hairy Woodpecker1-1/2"12-20
Purple Martinspecial crescent12-20
Crested Flycatcher2"8-20
Red-Headed Woodpecker2"12-20
Barn SwallowOPEN SIDES8-12
PhoebeOPEN SIDES8-12

How long is the incubation period for my backyard birds? How long until the young ones leave the nest?

The length of time varies from species to species. Listed below are average clutch size, incubation and nestling period for a number of backyard birds. Note, these are averages, and actual numbers vary depending on location and time of year.

Common Name Avg. Clutch Size Avg. Incubation Period (days) Avg. Nestling Period (days)
American Goldfinch 4.5 13 14
American Robin 4 13 12.5
Barn Swallow 6.5 14 21
Black-capped Chickadee 7 12.5 16
Blue Jay 4.5 17.5 19
Bobolink 4 12 10.5
Brown Thrasher 4 12 11
Brown-headed Cowbird 4 11.5 10.5
Carolina Wren 6 14 13
Chimney Swift 5 18.5 29
Chipping Sparrow 3.5 12.5 10.5
Dark-eyed Junco 4 12.5 10.5
Eastern Bluebird 5 13 18
Eastern Phoebe 4 15 17
European Starling 5.5 13.5 22
Gray Catbird 3 13 10
Hermit Thrush 4.5 12 12.5
House Finch 3.5 13.5 15.5
House Sparrow 5 12 14
House Wren 7 11 16
Mountain Bluebird 6 13 19.5
Mourning Dove 2 14 15
Northern Cardinal 3 12 9.5
Northern Mockingbird 4 12.5 12.5
Orchard Oriole 5 13 12.5
Red-winged Blackbird 3 12 12
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 2 13 20
Scarlet Tanager 4 13.5 10.5
Solitary Vireo 4 13.5 12.5
Song Sparrow 4 13 9.5
Tree Swallow 5 15 20
Violet-green Swallow 5 14.5 23.5
Western Bluebird 4 14.5 21.5
Yellow Warbler 4.5 12 9

We found a Killdeer nest outside in the parking lot. It was hard to spot but Bud, our landscaper at the school, knows where everything is. He gave me the tip.

Can you spot the nest here?
Mama bird was not amused with a bunch of children spying on her clutch of eggs...

Click Here to watch the video.
From Bird Lab

If you want to know more about birds, check out these websites:
All About Birds: Free Bird Guide and More

All About Birds: Free Bird Guide and More

All About Birds: Free Bird Guide and More

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Oh wow, those gourd houses are so beautiful! Can Peter and Boo make one when they come? They're already somewhat obsessed with bird houses, lol!