April 8, 2020

Vol. 3 Lisa B’s Bighearted Blog

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Right now the world is full of birds singing about the return of SPRING!  Our first virtual family storytime this week was about birds so I have birds on my brain this week!

If it is not a perfectly lovely spring day when you’re reading this, go directly to this site for some diversion:                                                                          

Click here, this site is soooo fun!

BeastBox is a ‘garage band’ with animal sounds!  Select a beat, select an animal, then listen to the hip-hop loop you’ve made and watch the various birds and critters groove.  My favorite combo was Sonoran Desert Beat with a cactus wren and a katydid.

I discovered BeastBox one grey day last week.  It was embedded in The Cornell Lab’s ‘All About Birds’ newsletter.  They’ve put together tons of resources offering us solace and info during this time of teaching online and staying at home.  There are live cams of nesting birds, live cams of bird feeders, videos of beautiful birds all over the world, guides to identifying birds by ear and by sight, weekly activities, games and teaching materials. 

Luckily for us our social distancing is happening during the unfolding of NH’s spring.  Without going anywhere, in our backyards and on our front steps, we can breathe in fresh air, and discover new things. 

A week ago I cut a branch from our forsythia bush, brought it inside and put it in water, and during the grey days last week its yellow blossoms opened in our kitchen.

This time of the year the birds are coming back from their winter migrations and there are so many songs to hear.  See how many different songs you can tell apart.  Can you see the birds singing? 

Try playing Bird Song Hero on the All About Birds site.  It shows you what a bird’s song looks like on a spectrogram and it helps to remember and learn different bird songs.

Make some recordings, or draw, what you hear or see outside.  I recorded some things I looked at and listened to last week.  Do you know what they are?  One of them sounds like ducks.  Ducks and loons and geese have been returning to our ponds and streams too. 

Mary Holland, a naturalist in Vermont, has written several books and a blog called Naturally Curious.  I have subscribed to her blog for years and own both her books and she’s taught me so much about New England wildlife.  This link tells you about one of the animals I recorded.

Hoopla has many books about birds.  All of Hoopla’s books are available 24/7 through our webpage—no waiting lists!  Here are three I particularly recommend:

Caroline Arnold’s Birds: Nature’s Magnificent Flying Machines

Heidi Stemple’s Counting Birds: The Idea that Helped Save Our Feathered Friends

Frank Mazzola’s Counting is For the Birds

Author: Corinne Chronopoulos
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