- Monday, August 08, 2005
Part 2 – Record Your Findings:
Start a binder to gather information in. I would recommend that you decorate the cover with pictures of hummers. Try your hand at sketching and coloring the birds. The ruby throat is a beautiful bird. Use some glitter crayons to get the sparkly effect. Chose a title for your book and decorate your cover pages. Next make a table of contents. Any category that you would like to study should go into your table of contents. A simple outline of your goals for learning might contain introduction, habitat, characteristics, nesting and young, flight facts, migration, feeders pros and cons, attracting hummingbirds, internet sites, hibernation, and books to read. Use dividers with tabs to divide your binder into "chapters."
Part 3 – Activities:
As a family find some hummingbird sites and take a virtual field trip on the Internet. Two are listed here to get you started:
The following is a site that features pictures of a nesting female through the process and until the baby bird is ready to leave the nest. Study the pictures and write your own version of a hummingbird's story. http://community-2.webtv.net/hotmail.com/verle33/HummingBirdNest Make a listing of your favorite sites.
Look for a hummingbird festival in your area.
- Tucson, Arizona, Festival of Hummingbirds (April)
- Leasburg, Missouri, banding demos (summers)
- Hummingbirds of New Mexico (July)
- St Francisville, Louisiana, Feliciana: Hummingbird Celebration
- Weldon, California, Hummingbird Celebration
- Fort Davis, Texas, Hummingbird Fest
Using a map of north and South America, draw in the migration routes of hummingbirds. How do birds utilize jet streams? How can a small bird survive such an arduous journey?
For an art lesson, besides the sketching and/or photo-shooting of hummers (for which Stokes's Hummingbird Book gives excellent instructions), study the colors of the birds. Make an art piece with strokes and shapes of the various colors. All have such interesting names. Here are some you will see bronze, buff, cinnamon, white, pearl, red, dusk green, violet, chestnut, ebony, purple, black, rufous, green, red-orange, brown, golden, crimson and yellow. The descriptive terms metallic and iridescent should figure into your art piece. Title the artwork after your favorite species of hummer.
A field trip for this project is important. Visit a nursery in your area. Ask about the plants available in your area for attracting hummers. Why are trumpet shapes better? Study the flower shapes, sizes and colors, also the shapes and sizes of petals and whether they hang down or face up or out (orientation). Note the fragrances of the flowers. The hummingbirds, as most birds, have a poor sense of smell. Why would flowers without smell be a favorable feature for hummers? How does the shape of the flower and its orientation encourage and protect the hummers. What trees are best suited for the birds? What colors are the best choices for hummingbirds?
Part 4 – The Garden Project:
This project will take some time. Begin by choosing a suitable place in sight of a window. Bird attracting plantings can be a whole garden of flowers or as little as a hanging basket, or containers of plants that are tempting to the bird.
Select and collect plants (Tip: Red tubular plants planted in groups of three or more are the best--keep dead plant parts pruned). Look for Cape Honeysuckle, Trumpet Vine, Bleeding Hearts, Red Sage, Larkspur, Monkeyflower, Snapdragon, Indian Paintbrush, Fuchsia, Columbine, Coral bells, Sweet Peas and Yucca. Note which you think best suit hummingbirds and why.
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