In response to COVID-19, Barnacles & Bees has cancelled our Free Family Nature Play Classes for the remainder of 2020. Our Nature Immersion Program is currently in session with reduced capacity.
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The virus may be affecting our rhythms but out in the natural world, the animals are still keeping to theirs. This is the time of year where the Northern Flickers (a beautiful bird) start drumming on trees. Here is a great video below since it is more likely you will hear them before you see them. If you would like to learn MORE about this amazing bird that will probably show its head where you are, here is a great site with information about them and more local animals. They are a really neat bird that is actually around in urban areas and forests.
Question this week..."Do woodpeckers get headaches when they hit wood over and over again?
1. Picking up "Ants" like a Northern Flicker
Northern Flickers have tongues that have sticky saliva made special for catching ants and other small bugs. One Flicker's stomach was found to have 5,000 ants inside, so they like them.
- First, you will find a string and attach a clothespin to the end of it--this is your bird's head so maybe draw some eyes on either side.
- Second, make it sticky, wrap tape with sticky side out, get creative.
- Next, spread out some sunflower seeds or something that looks like it could be ants on the ground
- All that is left to do is to dangle that string down (from whatever height you feel comfortable with) and pick one up. Collect them and see how many you can get
- Use those same clothespins and pick up sunflower seeds, or other things that could represent ants.
- You could just plop them in a tray...or you could arrange them on paper with sticky glue in a need design
2. Watching your Northern Flicker Trap:
Northern Flickers LOVE to eat ants, so if your yard abounds with them you have a leg up. But if you don't you can still lure them out, all you need to is set out peanut butter, and apple slices. Do this before a meal so that your kids can watch from the window to see the Northern Flicker that is drawn to these tasty foods.
1. Making a Bow and Arrow
from "Play the Forest School Way" by Jane Worroll and Peter Houghton
This has nothing to do really with Northern Flickers, but I did think that looked like a good time and that we need to do it. I really want your FEEDBACK on this one.
2. Northern Flicker Drumming:
This one is pretty straight forward: it is experimenting with different tools and surfaces to make that woodpecker drumming sound that we all love. Now the Northern Flicker loves to project and be as loud as possible, so finding the combination that will do the trick might take some time.
Flickers also drum to puncture holes in whatever is available to find food but to also make a home. If you are so fortunate as to have a log that you can make a hole in for a home then try taking a peg and a mallet and hit it to make a hole that could be a cozy lodging for a bird...or just to make holes cause it is fun. I did this with shells the other day because my friend from Program, Odin, had inspired me a while back...except that I used metal knitting needles and it was a blast and therapeutic.
Print this email off, post it up and try some of them...that is my goal for this week.
I hope that this email finds you well and that this week begins your passionate study of birds if you have not already begun that journey
Have a great week!
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