On November 7th, Discover Birds volunteers paid a visit to after-school students at the South Knoxville Elementary School to present the Discover Birds program and help students find birds that live around their school yard.
Learning to use binoculars to get better looks at the birds, was the first activity students experienced before going outside for their bird walks on the sidewalks of the campus.
Students learned to adjust the binocular focus for their vision, to focus on stationary objects and to bring the binoculars up to their eyes while still looking at the object or bird in order to get the binoculars on the object.
Jerry Ledbetter suggests students focus on the words on a sign in the lobby for practice.
Above, Jerry Ledbetter helps a student get his binoculars on a bird. Once the bird is in view, students took note of the bird's characteristics. What markings are on the face? What is the bird's overall size and shape, the overall color? What color is the beak?Cedar Waxwing's tail are yellow, but if the bird eats many of these honeysuckle berries while the feathers are developing, the red content in the berries turns the tail tips orange or reddish-orange!
A female Downy Woodpecker, above, was another big hit and easy to see as she foraged on insects on a tree's bare limbs and trunk.Tennessee Birds--Naturalists Pocket Guides, to help students identify the birds they see. Students also used the guides to identify some of the birds they have seen in their yards at home.
male Rufous Hummingbird wintering in her yard in Knoxville for the past four years. She knows it is the same bird each year because of the unique number it wears on its leg band.
Volunteer, Doug Schneeberger, talks with students about the characteristics of a bird's feathers, including the overlapping barbs at the end of each filament that act like a zipper to hold the feather filaments in place.
A holly full of red berries at the corner of the sidewalk is an attraction for several birds species. A Song Sparrow foraged on the ground underneath for seeds and insects.
South Knoxville Elementary School
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