Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend Rewind

We had a great weekend even despite the fact that Gabe was on a trip for half of it and my allergies were running wild.

Gabe had a short business trip this past week and by Friday, I was ready for it to be DONE. I really didn't want to go home after picking Alena up from school and try to survive until bedtime so I looked online at something free for us to do.

I found out that a local nature preserve was doing hummingbird banding. I've been wanting to go all summer and see that but with Gabe gone on trips and doing school work all the time, I always put it off thinking that next time, he would have time and we could all go. But then when we could go, neither of us had the motivation or energy. We just wanted to relax at home. But the kids were driving me nuts and I really wanted to do something outside of the house, so the kids and I went and had a great time.

It was really interesting to see how they catch and band the birds. And we didn't just sit there and watch them, they let us hold and release the hummingbirds back into the wild!

They caught them by placing a net over a bird feeder and then when the bird is drinking, someone with a remote control drops the nets to trap the bird.

Then they are placed in small netted holders and carried to a nearby table where the bird bander weighs, measures, and tags them.
Alena got to carry a bird!

 Here are a couple birds awaiting their turn to be tagged.

They are tagged first.

Then measured...

They check their body fat by blowing on the feathers because their skin is actually translucent  so they are able to see how much fat they have and if it is an adequate amount to be able to migrate. She also counts their feather colors and check other things that I couldn't understand. She was very thorough in the process.
 The bird is also weighed. Most of the birds weighed around 3.5 ounces! So light and tiny!

 And last, they are given a drink as a reward before being released.

Now the fun part! The birds are placed in our hand and we hold them until they fly away. Alena's bird stayed for at least 3 minutes, mine 2, and poor Christian only got to hold his for just a few seconds.

Love the colors!

It was pretty amazing to feel them in your hand. Their breathing was so fast and they were so light! The kids also found several bugs they just couldn't leave alone...

Then on Saturday we went to an Alice in Wonderland themed birthday party. The setup was beautiful but because it was in the woods, there were bugs EVERYWHERE and my allergies were out of control. I spent all of Sunday just trying to get my face to stop burning and even today (monday) my eyes are still puffy and sore, plus my nose is stuffy.

The awesome cake!

See the grasshopper in the vase? They were everywhere!

What Christian did almost the whole time. Look for bugs.

Caught one!

1 comment:

  1. oh my goodness.. that cake is amazing!

    I"m your newest follower from the Monday Mingle


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