Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Urban Bird Walk

The Peabody Museum sponsored a bird walk around the Yale Campus during lunch.  They were hoping to attract Yalies on their lunch hour but what they ended up with were two Mamas and their five hatchlings looking for a birding adventure!  

This was the walk I was looking for.  Of course Mother Nature would not cooperate with me and has something against this Mama taking a bird walk.  I was armed (well...legged) with my silk thermals (and did not hear one single tease), my down jacket , three umbrellas, two water bottles, binoculars, a camera and a cell phone.  Cell phone? Very important to take notes on what we saw, since I forgot the now seemingly old fashioned pen and notebook!

We strolled the Yale Science Campus with our necks craned upwards on this misty day.  Not good for a  glasses wearing Mama who really needs to make an appointment for contacts.....

We had fantastic lessons on how to use binoculars and where to look for certain species of birds.  We checked tree tops for cardinals, building ledges for raptors, the skyline for gulls, brush for sparrows, and parks for geese.  We did not see much on this chilly, damp, New Haven day.  But we enjoyed the time outside with our fine friends, those feathered and not!

We learned the importance of taking many walks and reporting your findings to compare against other days with different weather days, weeks, months apart.  We counted the number of birds we saw (which was too easy unfortunately) and recorded both the type of bird and the time it was spotted on an official form.  We were able to ask questions and have them answered with kindness and genuine affection for both children and birding.    We learned that The Peabody is just beginning this program of urban bird walks and were encouraged to participate in future walks.  We also learned about the Eli Whitney Museum, which I had never heard of and now is tops on our list of places to go!

Good times.  Good friends.  Good lessons.  Good life.

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