Birding & Geology on Pleasure Island

photo by JustinHamlin via Flickr

Today was our first field trip of the new year. to all our families, we extend a warm, ‘Welcome Back!’.  To kick this year’s event calendar off with a focus on the great outdoors, we took the kids out to Pleasure Island for a little bird-watching this morning. It was a cold, windy day, still pretty wet from yesterday’s storming, but not so bad that we couldn’t be out in it.

We let the kids play at Riverfront Park for a bit, then went down Lakefront Drive to walk around and see what we could find. There were a few birds out; ibises, herons, a few ducks and some other birds that we couldn’t identify, but mostly the kids ended up climbing on the rocks that line Lakefront Drive and scavenging for geodes and crystals among the boulders.

We found quite a few hollow-sounding rocks, but most were too big to crack open. The kids did manage to break a few chunks off and got several fragments of (what we think is) citrine clusters. If you’re into rocks and would care to help us identify what we found, please comment!

One thing we’d talked about doing was a lesson plan from Flying WILD. We didn’t get a chance to do the lesson plan (since our focus shifted away from birds once we were out there), but we did pull out our bird behavior scavenger hunt sheet. Since there weren’t many birds out, it wasn’t much use, but we’ll probably keep it for the rest of the week and see if we can check them all off.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the bird conservation division of Project WILD, the Houston Audubon Society’s Flying WILD Resource page has tons of resources for amateur bird enthusiasts and for teachers, including a 50-page field guide of common birds in the Houston area, a bird-habit observation checklist and a bird identification worksheet to help students keep track of and later identify birds they see in the wild. Don’t forget to read up on basic Bird Watching Etiquette before you go out!

Additional Resources:

http://www.kidswhobird.org/

See you next week!
TH

 

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