Friday, May 24, 2013

Birds All Around Us!

I mentioned in a previous post that we had spent some time building a new, sturdy and comfy enclosure for our chickens, who I introduced in this post.  There have been a few changes since I first posted about the girls.

We originally had two Buff Orpingtons and a Rhode Island Red named Sophia, Dorothy and Blanche, respectively, but Sophia and Dorothy picked on Blanche so much that they removed most of her back feathers and left her bleeding and hiding to get away from them.  We decided to re-home Sophia and Dorothy and do some research about which breeds would be better for us.

After research was completed and Blanche had healed up nicely, we found a few new chickens to join our flock:

 Saffron - an Easter Egger and Pepper - a Barred Rock

 Coriander aka Cori - who I'm fairly sure is a Star Sexlink

all joined good old Blanche, our RI Red, who was being finicky and running about so I couldn't get a good picture.

We moved our coop to the side of our yard, added some tall chicken wire to enclose the area and then went a few steps further with shade cloth and a mister - that my husband picked up on a whim because he's a sweetie and wanted the girls to be cool and comfortable.

After a few anxious days of adjustment, the girls figured out the pecking order and began laying regularly, though it took a couple of them some time to figure out that they should lay the eggs in the nesting boxes and NOT on the ground.

We're getting 2-3 eggs per day, which is perfect as all of these breeds are expected to lay 4-5 times per week.

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A few weeks ago, I noticed that there was a mourning dove nesting in the tree just next to our front door.  I was a bit surprised since I always have people coming and going and passing right under her nest, but there she was, happily warming her little egg.


I noticed the egg a few days after seeing the nest and was hoping to get a photo of it when Mama was away, but I waited a bit too long to ask my husband to go out there and get the shot.  When we finally got around to it, this is what he found.


A sweet little baby mourning dove!  We've been watching Mama and haven't gotten another glimpse of baby, but the kiddos know they're up there and we're hoping to meet the little one soon.

We see Mama frequently popping into the back yard to grab some of the chicken feed or the birdseed we keep in our sensory table, so we know she's taking good care of her baby.

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So now we have chickens and many bird visitors in the backyard and we have a mourning dove family in the front yard, so when our Kiwi Crate arrived and we opened it to reveal a box full of bird-themed projects, we were beyond excited!!

I'm not a Kiwi Crate spokesperson or anything, I just think they're totally awesome, so I'm going to share this month's crafts with you and if you'd like to get in on the fun, you can click on my link and save $10 and then I'll save $10 and everyone will be saving and also making cool crafts!

Our first craft was making a nest with eggs.  In our crate was everything we needed to make the craft, glue, yarn, cardboard eggs, paint, paintbrush, etc.  My favorite thing about Kiwi Crate - any supplies you don't use for the included projects, you get to keep and use again and again.  In a past crate, we got one of those soft ice cube trays shaped like penguins - can't you just see all the projects you could make with penguin-shaped ice???  I can!!

Ok, back to the eggs and nest.

Put yarn into included paper bowl.
 Empty entire bottle of glue into bowl and stir with included wooden spoon until yarn is all coated.
 Spread glue-covered yarn onto included plastic bowl and spread out into nest shape, leave to dry.
Yes, that's an actual kid-sized plastic bowl that I will now have forever to use for snacks, craft supplies, whatever.  Oh, Kiwi Crate, I love you!
 Moving on, these eggs were great, they came in two parts that fit together, but can be opened and closed as needed - I see an extension craft in our future - baby birds, anyone?
Decorate with included white crayon (if desired).
 And paint with included paint and brush.  Let dry.
 My only complaint here is that the nest is too small to fit both eggs, but the eggs are really the perfect size for little hands, so I'm not complaining much.  And, it's adorable!
 Here's a better shot of the nest portion, which peels right off the plastic bowl when dry.  I've done yarn nests in the past, but this one came out better than any I've ever done.....most likely because it is all one long strand of yarn and a TON of glue - two things I've never done in my previous attempts.

Our next activity was a bird costume.  Monkey decorated a mask with feathers and then got to chose which beak he wanted to wear.  Each beak represents a different bird - I love the variety and creativity!
 He wanted to be a kiwi for a while, then he was a woodpecker and then he decided he didn't want a beak at all.
He also got wings as part of the costume, which I didn't get a picture of, but my little guy thinks they are wonderful!


The Kiwi Crate also comes with loads of information about the monthly theme and this was the first month Monkey was genuinely interested in it.  He wanted to hear everything about the different birds, he asked questions, he wondered, he pretended, he played and he LEARNED.

Children will naturally gravitate towards things that are relevant to their own lives and I couldn't have asked for a better set of circumstances over the past few weeks.

I wonder what next month's adventures will be!!




1 comment:

  1. These look like fun crafts. Thanks for linking up at Artsy Play Wednesday. Pinned to our group board. The new linky goes live at Midnight every Wednesday, hope you'll link up your new projects every week.

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