Thursday, December 10, 2015

My Trip to Safari West

Last month we took a road trip up north to a place called Safari West. Safari West is an animal preserve where you can spend the night in these huge canvas tests, go on a guided tour on a safari truck, and explore on your own.

While I was there I saw lots of mammals, but I also saw some birds. I will tell you about three of them.

Trumpeter Hornbill

One was a trumpeter hornbill which scared the living daylights out of me and my mom. He was in an aviary. He was very loud! He looks old to me because he has pink around his eyes and damage to his bill, but that's just how they are.

Trumpeter hornbills are native to Africa. You might find them in trees.

A mother hornbill has to be confident that she will survive in a hole in a tree with a noisy baby! That's what she does to protect herself and her egg and hatchling. The male goes out and gets food and brings it back to her and feeds her through the hole that is only large enough for her beak!

Green Turaco

Another bird I saw was the green turaco. It was also in the aviary. It is also an African bird. It is green with a green crest, and it has red and white eye patches. This bird got very close to my brother's friend. This bird did not seem afraid.

East African Crested Crane

The next bird I saw was the East African crested crane. These cranes were outside near the tents and were part of the racket that we got to hear at night. We also got to hear a monkey that made a car alarm sound, a pheasant (another kind of bird), and some other creatures.

This bird has a beautiful plumage. You can't see in this picture, but it has lots of colors when its wings are spread. I think its crown of feathers looks like a sunset.

I felt like this was a great experience. It made me feel amazed. I recommend people go to Safari West, but if you can't go to place like this, go explore your backyard. Go birding! Don't ignore an unfamiliar sound especially if it is from a bird. You could see something interesting. Birds are everywhere.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Birds of Horicon Marsh

This summer I was in Wisconsin. I spent the day at Horicon Marsh. It is a freshwater marsh and a refuge for wildlife including many birds. Part of the marsh is run by the state's Department of Natural Resources and part of it is run by the U.S. government - the Fish and Wildlife Service.

This is a picture of me looking at double-crested cormorants in the distance. A double-crested cormorant is a water bird. It is usually black with orange feathers on its face.

First three photos by my mom.

This, of course, is a goose. A Canada goose. Canada geese are among the best known migratory birds, and many people recognize their V formation in the sky. But other birds make the V formation in the sky, too. Migratory birds are birds that migrate, or travel, to warmer parts of the world for the winter.

Below is a photo of tree swallows entering the cavities of tree. Just like cavities in your teeth are holes in your teeth, cavities in trees are holes in trees, and birds nest in there. The cavities are often formed by woodpeckers.

The top half of adult male tree swallows' bodies is iridescent blue and the bottom half is white. 

While I was at Horicon Marsh, I saw a bird I had never seen before. It is called a sora. A sora is a noisy bird found in freshwater marshes.

Here is a photo of a sora that I found doing an image search the way my former 3rd grade teacher and computer teacher taught me. This photo was taken in Morro Bay, California.

"Mike" Michael L. Baird [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

I look forward to sharing more about Horicon Marsh.

Did you see any birds this summer?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Photo by my mom

This is a photo of a male Hooded Oriole that I saw in my backyard. Here are three facts about orioles:

1) Orioles are attracted to the color orange.
2) Orioles like to eat halves of oranges, grape jelly, and nectar (the same kind of nectar you put in a hummingbird feeder.)
3) Here a four species of orioles I know about: Bullock's, Hooded, Scott's and Baltimore. P.S: There are more types.

 I like orioles because they are colorful.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Photos by Mrs. Frank

A few months ago my mom's friend texted her these photos and asked me to identify this bird. She had found this bird and these eggs at the park where her son plays baseball. This is a killdeer. Killdeer pretend they have a broken wing when they feel threatened. Their eggs have this appearance so that they blend in with rocks.

I recommend using the Merlin Bird ID app. It helps you identify birds. It asks you questions about what you saw and then it says what it could be.

- Birder Troy

Thursday, June 18, 2015

How I Became a Fledgling Birder

Welcome to my blog!

This is a picture of me last summer when I was 8 and staying at my grandma's (AKA Grandma Barb's) house in Wisconsin. My grandma has a garage and a fence separating her backyard and her neighbor's. As you can see, on the fence there are two nesting boxes. These were apparently used by several house sparrows. One day, as I sat outside waiting for some house sparrows to come on in and feel comfortable going in their boxes with me right there, I started to become very interested in ornithology. In case you're wondering, ornithology is the study of birds.

I had a feeling the house sparrows wouldn't come because they were scared of me and hadn't seen me there before. One went to my grandma's safflower feeder, took a seed, swiveled his head, and looked up. I had no idea what he was looking at, so I looked up too. I could see nothing. I shrugged and said to myself, "Maybe I should move away, but I want to be close. How can I do both?" I knew it was physically impossible to do both. I was never able to get close to those sparrows, but I watched them fly in and out during my whole visit in Wisconsin.

That first day when I was observing the house sparrows, I was about to give up on watching them when I noticed a flash of yellow. As I slowly turned to my grandmother's green bean garden, I laid eyes on my first American goldfinch.

That was the day I noticed what it was like to be a fledgling. A fledgling is a baby bird, and fledgling can also be used to describe someone who is new at something. I am still a fledgling when it comes to birding, but I am now growing flight feathers. I go on bird walks and to bird talks (hey, that rhymes!), I have 7 bird feeders at my house now, and I read about birds all the time. Finally, I like to teach people about birds, and that is mostly the reason for this blog that you are reading.

Thank you to my former teacher, Mrs. Yollis, for helping me with this blog and for teaching me about blogging.

Are you interested in birds?
I wonder what my readers would like to ask me to blog about?

*Kids, don't post your full name or exactly where you (or I) live.*

Nice having you here reading this!

P.S. My other posts won't be as long as this one.

P.P.S. In my About Me section, I mention wood ducks. Here is a video of baby wood ducks jumping out of the nest. This is not at 30 feet. It's more like 6 feet, I think.