Scott’s Thoughts on Learning the Yard Birds


Bananaquit by Scott Viola

Last week, we heard from Tres about the kids’ science class for the school year 2015/2016.  This week we hear from Scott:


Blackburnian Warbler by Scott Viola

We started the bird class at the beginning of this school year because a family was planning to come in the summer, and we (the kids) were to be the guides. We have sketched and studied every bird on site, except for the most recent additions to our list.


Yellow-crowned Night-Heron by Scott Viola

Every week, bird flashcards were created to tell us which birds to look into. Usually, five were assigned every week, but once it varied to seven! We designate common names, Latin names description, size, food, habitat, and location for each bird. We may draw or insert a picture of the bird. I’ve always drawn them.


Black Skimmer by Scott Viola

As I went through the school year, I began to notice the bird life surrounding me. I never saw the thrushes, hummingbirds, warblers, flycatchers, seedeaters, and more before we studied them. I picked up many calls and songs, which are as helpful as sight, too.


Magnolia Warbler by Scott Viola

Today, I recognize many of our birds by sight and sound. I locate some birds, especially flycatchers, by sound. I’ve acquired a pair of binoculars (Mr. Jeri says “a binocular”) of my own. I use them whenever I go birding, or even just walking or playing outdoors. I never know what will appear.


Stripe-throated Hermit by Scott Viola

Tres’ thoughts on learning our Yard Birds

Birding Journal Panama

Yellow-throated Vireo by Tres Kimball

The children’s science class for the past school year was to learn the yard birds at Tranquilo Bay.  I have asked Tres and Scott to tell us what they feel they learned, how they felt about the process and to give us a few examples of the birds they drew.  First up – Tres.

Citizen Science Panama

Blue Gray Tanager by Tres Kimball

This year, our science class was to learn all the birds listed on-site at Tranquilo Bay. We researched their size, food, habitat, and range. Also, we drew a picture of every bird. Now, it is enjoyable to look out of a window, see a bird, and know what species it is.

Panama Birdwatching

Bay Wren by Tres Kimball

Due to the fact that I drew a bird almost every day, my drawing skills have improved immensely. Now, I draw mostly in pen, after sketching in pencil.

Drawing at Tranquilo Bay

Golden-collared Manakin by Tres Kimball

I think the greatest thing, while learning our birds, is that I learned the general appearance of the different families, therefore if I don’t know what species it is, I normally recognize the genus, and can look it up.

Birding Panama

Red-eyed Vireo by Tres Kimball

Now, I draw better and can identify most of our birds. What I need to learn this summer is the sounds. I lack severely in that department.

Homeschooling Science

Red-capped Manakin by Tres Kimball