Friday, February 13, 2009

Great Backyard Bird Count 2009 Day One

One of the benefits of bird watching is getting outdoors and breathing the fresh air. This post may seem odd to you because we are--gasp, INDOORS--studying pictures I took of birds during my count this morning and videos I recorded. You can breathe a sigh of relief because Pamela spends a good part of her day outdoors, whether or not she is identifying birds. Here she is playing in the sand at red beach.

To get in the spirit of the bird count and knock out more work on sharing perspectives, Pamela and I practiced identifying birds on Wednesday. I placed pictures of birds indoors and outdoors, and she helped me find them in the order I had written on my list. I hoped to see how Pamela directs me physically and verbally, and she was fabulous. I, on the other hand, need to improve on my "match plus one" technique (repeat what she says and add something simple to it). I scaffolded her too much with my "I can't see it" and will back off in the next lesson. What I found interesting is how well she compensates for her aphasia by coming up with phrases and words that get the point across, even if her choices are not perfectly clear (for example, she said bench instead of column). A couple of times, Pamela knew there was a better word and corrected herself almost immediately, changing man to woman, shed to window and chair to swing.

Last weekend, I outlined my plan for scaffolding birdwatching and I added two things to it. I decided to review pictures I took on the computer and to write future, present, and past experience stories a la the association method (fodder for a later post). The most exciting moment for me was taking a picture of the Carolina wren for the first time ever!

The beauty of being able to study pictures of the birds I recorded on the video is helping Pamela differentiate little brown blobs. I try to take as many pictures as possible--full zoom on busy birds practically guarantee blurry shots. The first step is telling the sparrows and the finches apart; the second is figuring out which sparrow and which finch. With the computer, I can zoom in on specific features until the identification is obvious. From top to bottom are a chipping sparrow, a female house finch, and a male house finch. By the by, a flock of chipping sparrows and Mr. and Mrs. House Finch dine at our feeder regularly.

Meet Our Fluffy Friends

Video of Pamela and I Studying Pictures

Video of Our Fluffy Friends

Video of Pamela and I Studying the Video

Handling Anxiety over a Possibly Scratched Disk

I just checked the 2009 statistics for South Carolina. As of 20:36, our household was the only list submitted for our neck of the woods . . .


Jenny said...

Wow she handled that scratched disk great!

Unknown said...

Love your bird project work. I hadn't ever seen a Carolina wren. When I saw your picture, I immediately thought it was a red breasted nuthatch that we have here in Maine. They visit my suet feeder a lot too. I wonder if they are related.
Gail from Maine

walking said...

Gail, we used to feed the nuthatches in Colorado and the Carolina wrens have the same ability to walk down the trunk facing down! I love nuthatches, but I haven't seen any . . . YET!