Story of Birds
THE GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT AROUND THE WORLD
Hi. Today I want to tell you a story about a special sister of mine. She is not REALLY my sister; she is my wife’s sister. But because I met her when she was about 8 years old and because I do not have any sisters of my own, I feel like she is my very own sister. Kinda like an adopted sister you could say. That’s kinda nice, don’t you think, to be able to adopt a brother or sister if you do not have one of your own. I like it ���. Anyways, my adopted sister and I both like to watch birds. We do not live in the same town, but we both have birdfeeders outside our home and we text each other when we see a new kind of bird. I do not know as much about birds as my adopted sister does, so she is teaching me a lot. Well, this year we found out that the Audubon Society, which is a group of people who are trying to make the earth a better place to live, has what they call the Great Backyard Bird Count once each year. During this event each year, people from around the world watch, identify and count birds and record what they have seen using an phone App called Merlin. By doing this year after year after year, the people at the Audubon Society have been able to check and see which birds live in which parts of the world and also whether or not these birds are moving away from old places or into new areas because of Global Warming.
This year the Great Backyard Bird Count happened on February 12-15, which is at the end of Winter for my adopted sister and me in the United States. Like I told you, my adopted sister and I both participated. It was FUN, FUN, FUN!! We saw so many different kinds of birds. My adopted sister texted me that she saw goldfinch (a whole bunch since they like to travel in big groups), black capped chickadees, white throated sparrows, a towhee, a cardinal couple (the daddy cardinal is bright red but I like the mommy cardinal better even though she is grayish because her red beak, black eyes and beautiful crown stand out more than on the red daddy), a tufted titmouse (they also have a beautiful crown on their head called a tuft), and some finches. She was not sure if the finches were the purple variety or the house variety – anyways, they are both nice ���. Later that day, she saw a brown thrasher and even a downy woodpecker, which is neat and not that common where she lives. I also saw lots and lots of birds, including some cardinals, carolina chickadees, house sparrows and my FAVORITE, a red-bellied woodpecker – they are BEAU-TI-FUL! Then, later that same afternoon, I saw an eastern bluebird. They do not typically like to eat seeds in birdfeeders so they are harder to spot than some of the other birds – I was really lucky to see one of those ���.
Now, you might be wondering why I am telling you about birds today in our Grandpa Allan and Beena story. Well, the reason I am telling you about this now is because around the same time as the Great Backyard Bird Count was going on, my friend Beena sent me two paintings of birds! I couldn’t believe it. I had not told her about this event and she didn’t even know that I liked birds and that I had birdfeeders outside my house. How could she possibly have known to paint birds – she had NEVER done that before. Also, as you can see, she sent a painting of a chickadee and one of a red-bellied woodpecker. Now THAT is unbelievable. Those are EXACTLY some of the birds I saw. How did she know????? Let me tell you, I now am convinced that my friend Beena is clairvoyant, which is a fancy word that means she can see into the future. Yes-sir-yee-bob, I think she is clairvoyant and she doesn’t even know it!!! I am going to ask her to guess the lottery numbers for me next – maybe I’ll win the big prize (LOL)!!!
There is one more thing that I wanted to tell you today. And that is that the phone App called Merlin is really easy to get and anyone who has a phone or a computer can download it and use it to identify birds in their area, for free. If you want to learn more about birds like my adopted sister and me, you should download that App and play with it. And then, maybe, next year you can join us and participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count from wherever in the world you live. That would be NEAT!
Now it is your turn to imagine or remember stories based on these paintings called “The Great Backyard Bird Count Around the World”. Think of it and then write it down. Oh, and don’t forget to pass it on to a friend so that we can come up with 1,000 stories for these paintings, together.