In the midst of a long string of gray, rainy days, the Discover Birds Program and Blount County Home Education Association had a beautiful, sunny day on October 17 at Ijams Nature Center!
Doug Schneeberger, above, talks with students about bird beaks and how these beaks tell us about the birds behavior and food sources.
The first bird walk group was divided into two groups, one walking in an open area with wooded edges, the other heading for a trail in the woods. Each habitat offers an opportunity to see and hear different birds.
Hummingbirds must have nectar to sustain their high energy and will quickly become exhausted if trapped. Billie suggested opening the door to the building or garage and setting a table with a nectar feeder near the opening. Hummingbirds natural fly upward when trapped and can't find the exit. The hummingbird will be attracted to the nectar near the outdoors and find its way out.
Soon after the eagles flew by, a Red-tailed Hawk was spotted. Everyone was excited about seeing these large soaring birds that were catching thermals or the warm, rising air currents that enable them to soar without flapping their wings.
Doug challenges their thinking with questions about what muscle groups enable birds to flap their wings.
A large sternum and well-developed breast muscles help give birds their strength in flight.
A special thank you to Ijams Nature Center for allowing us to use their educational trails and facility. And a big thanks to the Blount Home Education Association and Billie Cantwell for arranging this program. A special thanks also to KTOS Discover Birds volunteers: Doug Schneeberger, Chris Welsh, Tom Howe, Tony King, Sammi Stoklosa, Susie Kaplar, Robin Barrow, Billie Cantwell and Vickie Henderson.
KTOS--Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society
KTOS on Facebook
Discover Birds Program
Discover Birds Activity Book
Discover Birds Curriculum Guide
Discover Birds in the Tennessee Conservationist
eBird at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Tennessee Watchable Wildlife--Birds
Cornell's free beginning birding app--Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Audubon Mobile Field Guides