On May 15, 2015, Discover Birds volunteers from the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society visited Sevierville Primary School to present the Discover Birds Program to 280 enthusiastic second graders and their teachers!
Above, Billie Cantwell asks children about their favorite birds. She then presents a slide show showing a variety of birds that live in different habitats with a variety of sizes, shapes, beaks and feet.The children also get to hear the bird's songs and stories about birds that Billie has in her own yard, including wintering Rufous Hummingbirds and a pair of nesting Screech Owls.
Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological society and a matching donation from Eagle Optics.
Above Chris Welsh leads students on a bird walk along the creek that borders the school grounds. Among the birds found on our bird walks was the Mourning Dove, a bird whose name comes from the "mournful" sound of its song.
Sometimes the doves were seen on the electrical wires overhead. At other times, they visited the bird bath. At first glance the Mourning Dove looks like a large plain brown bird with some dark spots on its back.
A closer look through binoculars or a scope shows that it is a colorful bird with a light blue eye ring, pink at the corner of its bill and pink feet!
(Don't miss the feet in the air behind him! One of the students was turning cartwheels as she returned from her birding walk!)
All the students knew that the Bald Eagle is our country's national symbol.
Chris Welsh recorded an eBird list of the birds he encountered on our bird walks. Thirty-one (31) species of birds were found in and around the school yard, many of them involved in various stages of nesting activities!
May 15, 2015
Sevierville Primary School
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: Discover Birds program for -280 2nd graders at Sevierville Primary School. Exciting flyby by the eagle; falcon more distant and moving away.
1 Bald Eagle -- Adult, roof level flyover with something dead in its talons
1 Red-tailed Hawk
1 Peregrine Falcon -- Large falcon flyover, too big for kestrel or Merlin, but no details other than silhouette
4 Mourning Dove
1 Chimney Swift
2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
2 Downy Woodpecker
3 Eastern Phoebe -- 2 young in nest under bridge
1 Blue Jay
2 American Crow
2 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
3 Tree Swallow
1 Barn Swallow
1 Carolina Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Eastern Bluebird
2 American Robin
2 Gray Catbird
1 Brown Thrasher
5 European Starling
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Eastern Towhee
2 Song Sparrow
2 Northern Cardinal
1 Red-winged Blackbird
3 Common Grackle
4 Brown-headed Cowbird
2 House Finch
2 American Goldfinch
2 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
A big thank you to Sarah Green and her fellow teachers at Sevierville Primary School for inviting the Discover Birds Program into their classrooms. THANK YOU also to KTOS Discover Birds volunteers Susie Kaplar, Morton Massey, Chris Welsh, Warren Bielenberg, Karen Wilkinson, Billie Cantwell, Doug Schneeberger and Vickie Henderson for making this program happen!
Links and Resources:
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