Jays vs Juncos

Hey Everyone,

Wow! What a fun-filled week at Forest School. Our focus was on birds this week and we had just the right mix of rainy days and sunshine to see them keeping busy and singing songs… though Thursday students might not agree with the sunshine part! Our bird feeders from last week welcomed new feathered friends and signs of spring were all around us.

We had a wide range of fun throughout the day, starting with an awesome invention of “ring toss” (a combination of dodge ball and volleyball), and perhaps our new favourite game, “Jays vs Junco’s”. For Jays vs. Junco’s, most students acted as Junco’s foraging food, discreetly bringing it back to their nest to feed their young. Their objective was to hide it from the pesky Blue Jays, who were ransacking all of the nests they could find for their own needs!  There were decoy nests, distress calls between Juncos, and a lot of laughs!

All decked out with binoculars and field books, our students wandered around the property with a Bird BINGO card in hand, looking for all types of birds, doing all types of things! Birds perching, flying, building nests, birds with long legs and tails, super colourful feathers, or a more camouflaged look – we saw it all! After gaining a few tips in observation (nature voice and fox-feet) and fine-tuning our eyes and ears, we set out for a hike around the big pond in an attempt to see (and hear) some more action. And that we did! Turkey Vultures, Killdeers, Chipping Sparrows, Robins, Common Grackles, FISH (3 dead, but some alive!), frogs, snails, caterpillars, another duck nest with 6 eggs and more! One day, we even had an impromptu memorial for Chippy, our little chipping sparrow that sadly must have collided into a window. Sometimes we work through big feelings and meaningful events at Forest School and we are always impressed with student’s thoughtfulness, wisdom and empathy during these times.

Students continue to LOVE spending time in their sit spots. This week, the Snowy Owls had a challenge to create dialogue between birds and record their conversations. Needless to say, with their incredible imaginations, students came up with some creative story lines! After identifying characteristics of birds, the Painted Turtles were tasked with the challenge of eating with “beaks” and were required to fill a “nest” with birdseed… using chopsticks!  On Thursday, all students rose to the challenge of becoming migrating geese working together to take their flying V south.  Along the way, they learned of the struggles faced by birds and some of them didn’t make it all the way to the end.

It sure was a wonderful week to be listening to and watching our bird friends!  A big congratulations to the students who earned an Al’s bead for their thoughtfulness and good friendship, and other students who earned their Show and Tell beads this week!  We also gave out a special Nature Lover bead to a curious birder!

Next Week:
We will be learning about ecosystems!

Please dress for the weather and bring an extra set of clothes, including a water bottle!

See you next week,

Krista, Matt and Kim

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