Eight young birders took part in our field trip to Ledges State Park in Boone County on May 16th. We started with sharing how to properly adjust our binoculars and we started practicing on a nearby stop sign but a Baltimore Oriole perched right overhead and we studied him in our spotting scope. READ MORE BELOW...
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As we walked, we talked about how to spot and describe the location of a bird and the basics of bird identification. A pair of Eastern Phoebes kept returning to the same perches along the creek which gave us a chance to talk about this distinctive behavior of flycatchers. We learned what "sallying" is as well as the difference between "canopy" and "understory."
After crossing the creek several times, we stopped to study the Cliff Swallows nesting in their mud nests built, appropriately, on the face of the cliff. A couple of Rough-winged Swallows were also feeding in the area.
Several Indigo Buntings perched for our spotting scope and we pursued and glimpsed a Common Yellowthroat.
After returning to the parking lot, we talked about birding etiquette and how we respect the birds and their environment AND also each other as we bird and learn as a team.
Every young birder received a copy of the new Iowa Ornithologists' Union Yellow Book which helps us to know about the seasonal occurences of Iowa's birds.
Overall, we found 23 species of birds and a complete checklist can be viewed at http://ebird.org/ebird/ybn/view/checklist?subID=S23487357