Monday, January 13, 2014

Birding with Malcolm

Brown Creeper
Back in December, we had an ice/sleet/snow storm that kept us all at home and inside for several days - it was far too slick to even walk in the backyard! To keep ourselves occupied, Malcolm and I spent a lot of time watching birds out of his window. I had recently relocated the bird feeder to the front yard, in part so that we could do precisely that (and partly to keep it away from the dog, who developed an unhealthy obsession with it, and would spend hours trying to keep all the birds out of his yard).

Cardinal, white chinned sparrows, and mourning doves
Because it was so icy, the feeder was the best place around to get food, and we had about 20 different species of birds show up over the 3 days. Malcolm was captivated by them, and spent 30 minutes or more at a time standing on his little chair, watching them.

Eventually I remembered that I have a telephoto lens for my camera and I started taking pictures of as many of the birds as I could. It is just a standard zoom, so I couldn't get as close as I would have liked, and I was shooting out of a (not entirely clean) window, but I still managed to get some good shots.

Carolina Wren

I am delighted that Malcolm is already interested in bird watching, since it is the favorite past time of his grandmother and great-grandparents, who used to travel all over the world to see birds. And I am happy because he is already developing a love for nature that experts warn is becoming rarer and rarer among children these days. Not that I was particularly worried about him, since Benjamin and I both love being outdoors and doing nature-related activities, and plan to take him hiking and camping as often as possible.

White-breasted Nuthatch

Since he is getting started early, I am sure Malcolm will be a better birder than I am by the time he is 5 or 6. He even started getting the hang of binoculars (when he wasn't putting them in his mouth).

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Now that the ice and snow are gone, it is a bit harder to spot birds, and they aren't coming in such numbers, but we still spend time every day looking out the window to see if there are any birds.

My favorite, the Tufted Titmouse

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