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January 1, 2015

For the Birds

Birds are amazing animals!  They are the only animal that has feathers, which help many birds fly and some swim.  Birds lay eggs of a variety of sizes and colors.  Birds build beautiful nests which make many architects jealous.  And if you’re still not impressed, some species of birds fly more than 3,000 miles (4,800 km) one way for their winter vacations.

The GIS After Care Program has been working For the Birds!  Last year we built and put up 5 bird houses around the playground.  With the help of the 5th grade class we planted a Bird and Bug Garden, filled with plants that attract birds to the playground in spring and summer.   This year we received a grant from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Habitat Hero’s Program to continue our hard work.  Both the Preschool/Kindergarten and the Elementary groups have been learning about birds, playing games like the Bird Buffet or live action Angry Birds and we even made decorative bird baths.   Lastly, we created a class birding kit, complete with binoculars, field guides, and other helpful information about finding birds in your backyard.

January 5th is National Bird Day! So, get outside and look to the sky for the birds around your house.  Yes, winter is a great time to go birding!  Many birds are very active during the winter months; on the move for migration or just hunting for their daily meal.  There are so many great places to see birds in their natural habitat really close to GIS; Tualatin Hills Nature Park, Jackson Bottom Wetlands, Audubon Society, and the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.  You can even participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count or 15 Minutes with Birds.

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Beaverton, OR 97005

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