Monday, February 18, 2008

Our Outdoor Hour Challenge

We made a turkey dinner for some friends to celebrate their year's worth of full time volunteer work. A fun time was had by all. We had a full house. Since there was enough to feed an army I fixed two plates to take to some friends that are home sick. We did that this afternoon and on the way back we drove along a long country road. That is when our Outdoor Hour started. We saw plenty of birds but what caught our attention was an armadillo walking along the road. There was no information on an armadillo in the Handbook of Nature Study so we looked a little info up in some animal books we have here at home.

We read from two books, The World of Animals published by Parragon and a DK book called Smithsonian Institute Animal The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. We learned it's called a Nine-banded armadillo and they live mostly in South America all the way up to the southern part of Texas, which is where we live.

We knew that their the skin of this animal is like armor but we didn't know that it eats almost anything from ants and birds to fruits and roots. Talk about not a picky eater! Another interesting tidbit we learned is that their offspring is nearly always quadruplets, 4 of the same sex.I printed an armadillo on these pages I had gotten at a teachers supply store. They colored the armadillo and I had a sentence for them to copy. It's interesting to see how the little one saw the colors on the armadillo. It was fun working on our first study in the Handbook of Nature Study. Another thing we are excited about is that our feeder has attracted some newcomers. I guess it's time for our Brown-headed Cowbirds and the Red-winged Blackbirds to make the rounds. We had about 30 birds feasting on our menu of scrumptious seeds. I had just filled the feeders. I wonder how long it will be before I have to refill? These birds are pigs.

Edited to include the following...If you want to read about this go to Barb's site.




7 comments:

Robin said...

Oh, man! When the cowbirds come, they DO eat a BUNCH of seed! Plus, you have to be careful. If you get any nests with eggs in them, the cowbirds will drop their egg in those nests and let the other mama raise her egg. That could be bad news when the babies mature because the baby cowbird could attack the other babies.
I just read that. Does that make sense? Brain is fuzzy today....LOL!

live4evermom said...

Yes those cowbirds do that. They go and lay their eggs in other nests but you know what I found interesting? If the host bird figures it out and gets rid of the egg from the nest the cowbird usually wreaks havoc on the host nest and will usually break the nest apart so that the host has to make another nest and then the cowbird will most of the time stay with that bird to do it again. Was that the longest sentence you ever read? hehehe That is actually how I talk. hehehe

Missi said...

Oh and don't forget the interesting fact that armadillos can carry leprosy ;o)~~~Sure are kinda cute though :)

Mama Peep said...

I was about to say how cool to see an armadillo when I read Missi's comments. I had to search for an answer.
http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a990219.html

All I can say is WOW! I can't wait to tell my kids this fact. :-)

Thanks for sharing.
Patricia

Mamasmurf said...

WOW! An armadillo! We don't have them in this country (England) apart from in zoos. My son will be so excited when I tell him!
~Chrissy

Tina said...

How neat is that! An armadillo!!! Do you see them often in your neck of the woods?

~Tina

School for Us said...

Oh, I'd love to have some red-winged blackbirds. They're one of my favorites since I first saw them... just last spring! But, I haven't seen any at our house.

Oh, and we're working today on doing the Green Hour challenge. :-)