Friday, December 6, 2013

Nature study: Woodpeckers

Our study of woodpeckers actually started back in September when we spotted an Pileated acorn woodpecker on one of our nature walks.  That's why when I saw that Barb at Handbook of Nature Study had an outdoor challenge this month (November) of woodpeckers I thought it would be great to build on that spotting.

It was actually Aaron who spotted this woodpecker.  I was so happy that he recognized it, and a little surprised.  Here is the only picture I got of the woodpecker we spotted.  We watched him from a distance for a little bit.


To start with our woodpecker nature study we gathered our books from the library, and from our shelves.

  Luckily I had this bird bingo I found at a goodwill a while back.  It was a fun way to get us thinking about birds, and comparing them to woodpeckers.  This is a great way to help young children to learn the names of birds!

Guess who was really into this game!  Alex was a pro.  He would find them so quickly, and when he didn't have them he was so patient.

He even repeated a lot of the names after I said them.  It was pretty awesome to hear him try to say some of the difficult names.

We drew pictures of woodpeckers, and learned about their claws.  They have 2 claws in the front and 2 in the back so that they can grab onto branches.  Which is why they can hang sideways so well. 


April's drawings...
Aaron's drawing...

We read about the kinds of woodpeckers in our area...

One that we found fascinating was the acorn woodpecker.  We also discovered that there are some in Oregon.

I didn't get a picture of it, but there was a neat picture of the tree with acorns tucked in the bark all around it.  I found it fascinating how the acorn woodpecker stores acorns for the winter.

This is the page we read about acorn woodpeckers that was so fascinating.

I bought these plush woodpeckers from Amazon.  These were so fun.  They even make the noise.  My little boys LOVED these, and they made for a lot of great imaginary play.  We even made nests for them out of dishtowels, and that led to learning about how many eggs they hatched.  Then the boys wanted to make paper eggs for their nests.

This is our downy woodpecker friend.


This is our pileated woodpecker...

And her eggs...


Alex became quite attached to it...
Guess we should have named them.  He just called his bird "pecker."

We also made these fun homemade paper woodpecker toys.  They colored and designed their "woodpeckers" as they wanted.


Aaron's woodpecker...

Aric's woodpecker...

Then we put them together and had fun!




Here's the video to get a better idea of the action:

 This was a fun nature unit study.  We went on a few more nature walks to see if we could spot some woodpeckers, but never spotted any again.  I'm sure we'll keep our eyes out for them in the future now!


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