My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Crazyness

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Today I headed over to a local elementary school and did a mini banding demo for some 2nd and 3rd graders. This was a very fun day with 30+ kids who were excited about birds and I was sooo happy to catch a Rose-breasted Grosbeak for them. This is a hatch year (born this year) Rose-breasted Grosbeak who is in its basic (winter) plumage. The red/yellow on the under wing coverts is the easiest way to determine the sex of the bird. Males have red and females have the yellow on their under wing covert. I just love the berry mess on this birds bill.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Love all of the colors in this shot!

The kids were such a wonderful group and I just loved how enthused they were over this Grosbeak. This was part of an after school “birding” class where they learn about birds, take care of 3 bird feeders on school property and just have fun talking about birds. I wish I could give this school an award for excellence . . . . because they truly deserve it for their wonderful programs that they do (great work Linda and everyone else)!!

2nd & 3rd Graders

The Happy 2nd and 3rd Graders (Ya, and me): Photo by Linda O

20 responses

  1. Such a great “outreach” to work with and share your enthusiasm with kids of this age. So much of our appreciation is formed during those tender years, by age 8 or so–that what they gain from you, they will hold onto for life.
    They’ll become the next generation’s caretakers of the earth.
    (yummy berry bills)

    3 October 2007 at 9:42 pm

  2. The color is fantastic in this Tom, great shot, wish we had a program here like that for my son and his classmates.

    3 October 2007 at 9:49 pm

  3. That is so cool you work teaching kids about birds. You have to be patient to do that, and I admire you for that. To many adults ignore kids. The Grosbeak is so pretty. Guess what I saw yesterday? 4 American White Pelicans all at the same spot on a sand flat at Rend Lake. It was so amazing, I went to reach for my camera and I had forgotten it at home. I was so bummed out. ~nita~

    3 October 2007 at 9:52 pm

  4. Awesome that you are promoting birds to the young ones! Keep up the good work!

    3 October 2007 at 11:13 pm

  5. What a great experience all the way around, except maybe for the Grosbeak. It lloks so small in your hand and so large at my feeders.

    4 October 2007 at 1:07 am

  6. That is the Best thimg to do. Take it to them so they can have an experience that they may never have the chance again. Kids are the future and I feel also that it is Best to teach them early aboput Nature!
    Good Work Tom!!!

    4 October 2007 at 1:20 am

  7. Linda O'Brien

    Thanks Tom. It truly was a wonder-full day. I agree with all your readers that it is best to teach them early. And what a thrill and honor it is for me to be a part of it. These kids are our future! LOB

    4 October 2007 at 5:47 am

  8. What a great experience passing on your love and knowledge of the birds to these future birders. Love that “first winter” male too. Looks like he found the berry mother load! :c)

    4 October 2007 at 6:49 am

  9. If you win over children at this age, they will love nature for life. There isn’t a bored or disinterested face in the group. You are a hero, Tom.

    4 October 2007 at 7:36 am

  10. Nina’s right, like all teachers, you help set appreciation for the world around students — as the wise chinese saying goes ,” as the twig is bent,so grows the tree”.

    In your case ,you have our glorious birds — and plants,animals,insects,etc. too — to help reinforce or introduce to young,impressionable minds, the excitment and wonder of our natural world. Lucky you !!!

    4 October 2007 at 7:54 am

  11. Dan

    Wow, you really do get involved in some cool educational outreach activities. And I’ve never actually been to a banding station before – I’m jealous.

    Fun stuff!

    4 October 2007 at 9:08 am

  12. Those kids look so happy. Great photo! I love the Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The straight-on shot with all the color is my favorite.

    4 October 2007 at 10:27 am

  13. Awesome head on picture of the grosbeak, the red under his wing is such a brilliant hue! The kids look so excited, great job!

    4 October 2007 at 11:00 am

  14. Oh how cool is that. Wonderful for the kids.
    I just came back from banding at PI this morning.
    I know I felt just like those kids.

    4 October 2007 at 12:18 pm

  15. @ Nina – thanks and I agree that early age is important for our future caretakers! Although, 10 years old is an easier age for “me” to start working with the kids!
    @ Bernie – thanks and look around . . . . I bet there are many great programs in your area that you can get him involved in.
    @ nita – thanks and the teachers from the school who set all this up are the ones who deserve the credit. I am just the middle man catching the birdies with them. Sweet, White Pelicans . . .would be a lifer for me!
    @ Veery – too bad we could see all kids learning about birds at that age!
    @ Barb – thanks and it was doing fine! Grosbeaks are very hardy birds and quickly went off on its way after we released. I was just glad to have caught something for them.
    @ Garth – thanks and some places now days are hard to get out to remote locations . . . lucky I have a good inside person to work with . . . so I am willing to go to them.
    @ Linda – thanks and you do such a wonderful job with them! I am glad they have the chance to learn from you!
    @ Jayne – thanks and I sure hope they are future birders! I placed the nets right around all the berries! 🙂
    @ Ruth – I sure hope they do love nature for life and help with many of our future problems! The teachers are the hero’s, I am just a tool to help them do their job!
    @ cestoady – thanks and love that quote. Thanks and I hope we all are able to do it in our own ways! Even if its through our blogs! That’s what I hope is happening with me! Kids seeing other kids learning about birds and realize that just maybe birds are cool to learn about. So many have pier pressures now days!
    @ Dan – anything nature related in teaching “anyone” about nature is where I try to be! only wish I could do more of it! But do have to pay the bills once and a while!
    @ Erie – I was soo excited myself to have that Rose-breasted Grosbeak!! Not sure who was more excited . . . . Me or the kids!
    @ Chicago Nature Lady – Thanks my friend (you know why) and I two love this birds colors! So brilliantly bright but then dull if it wanted to be! No wonder I have been having a hard time finding them.
    @ Toni – how amazing and I sure hope you will be blogging about your visit their? Will check out you site tonight sometime!

    4 October 2007 at 1:10 pm

  16. Grace

    I’m glad you caught something so pretty for them. I love the males in summmer plumage.

    4 October 2007 at 6:11 pm

  17. Awww…You have a beautiful blog…Love the photo’s..all of them!! I found your link while posting a comment at Q’s …I just posted some Monarch photo’s a couple days ago…& seeing your name…caught my eye…

    I have enjoyed my first visit to your blog, if it is ok, I would like to add you to my fav. I will remember to visit again often!

    Thanks for sharing all your endeavors with nature!

    4 October 2007 at 7:16 pm

  18. Marg

    Aw that’s my favourite working with the kids! Cool Grosbeak berry beak shot!

    5 October 2007 at 9:18 am

  19. Awww, Tom. Those kids will never forget you or the experience they had. It’s very special.

    What a colorful bird as shown in that fabulous second photo! Bravo!

    5 October 2007 at 12:41 pm

  20. @ Grace – I guess if I would only be catching one bird, its good it was a grosbeak! but those waxwings would have been nice!
    @ Catherine – So glad you visited and glad you enjoy my site! thanks for your kind words!
    @ marg – sure is fun for sure! thanks!
    @ Mary – thanks and I sure hope they don’t forget! It’s funny the 3rd graders that attended last year remembered the few bird species that we had (and I had to try to remember which ones we had). I think that is a good sign!

    5 October 2007 at 12:49 pm

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