Oh, did you think I meant the baseball team, The Orioles? There was a time I liked them, too. A long time ago, when I lived outside of Baltimore and Cal Ripken was just starting his family, living North of the city in horse country. I even went to a game or two with co-workers from Johns Hopkins.
No, I was talking about the type of Oriole that is a North American song bird. I spotted a female on our deck railing today. My husband had said he spotted one the other day, a vibrant male, trying to eat the sugar-water from my new Hummingbird feeder that is attached to our deck window. Maybe, his partner came back to check it out today! Orioles are somewhat of a rare sight for us. Usually, we get one couple, or just a male or two, in the very early spring. I’ve tried luring them to stay longer by putting out grape jelly and oranges, but it seems nothing satisfies their needs enough to prevent them from fleeing. I tried again today, taking a large half-orange out to the deck. This female seemed pretty tame. She allowed me to open the sliding glass door and start to approach her before flying off. I left the orange, hoping she would return. Maybe, then, I could get a better photograph of her. The two I took were not worth sharing!
It has been a little while since I wrote a summer enrichment post. But, here’s an idea for you. If you want to engage your kids in nature and have them learn a few things along the way, try attracting different species of songbirds to your yard. There are many books and Apps that will allow your kids to self-teach. You will be surprised what they learn! I am sure they will want to share that they know what bird has which song or what species is sitting on your deck railing. Birdwatching and bird identifying can be enriching but your kids will have so much fun they will not even realize they are learning!
We have a birdsong identifier. They were popular 10-15 years ago. We only have four cards for it but the cards helped us to identify birds and frogs around our house and cabin based on photos and the call or song the species make.
The Wisconsin DNR offers the site found by clicking the highlighted words. There is great information and photos but not any sounds to help the young birdwatchers.
The epitome of bird watching organizations where I come from is the Cornell Ornithology Lab. They have many ways to help you identify birds on their site. You can reach there landing page here >>>>>>-
This is their bird identification page on the oriole’s song. As you can see there are other tabs you can click on and enlighten yourself or your children! Topics include identification, life history, feeding habits, cool facts, range, and migration habits if applicable. If you want information all at once, just watch one of their videos on the bird of your choice! Here is a great example again, using the oriole.
There are dozens of books on the subject of birds, from children’s books on one type to or another, to adult encyclopedia volumes on the fascinating song birds of North America!
Look outside! Do you see any birds? Do you know what they are and what they sound like? If not, your children probably do not know either, so go on a summer learning excursion and find out all about birds!