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Monday, February 28, 2011

4th class teach Senior Infants all about Birds

Senior Infants came to visit our class this afternoon to learn about birds.
We had activities planned for them:
1. Bird watching out the classroom window using binoculars.
2. Watching our video clips of local birds to look at behaviour and listen to bird calls.
3. Looking at picture books and posters to learn bird names and describe them.

This video show how busy it was in the class this afternoon.
We all had great fun...

Thanks to Senior Infants for being so interested in birds.

A canary report from 1st Class

Here is an example of their reports from Niamh Davies.  What a wonderful job and a very beautiful picture.
Well done Niamh...and thank you all so much for sharing your work with us.

The Birds of Bray Story

We have worked so hard, done all the research, learned loads, and shared our learning with other classes. Here is our story.

Bird Behaviour

Have a look a this selection of video clips. Watch how the birds move and behave towards each other.  What food are they eating? Listen carefully and you can hear the song of each of the birds.Can you name the birds in this video?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A note from the principal - Ms Breen

Ms Breen said...

Girls, your project is wonderful! I have spent a couple of hours this afternoon reading all your comments and reports. The photos are wonderful and very clear. I learnt lots about birds and then looked out my window to see what birds were in my own garden. I'm looking forward to coming into the class during your birdwatching time. Keep up the good work!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bird Challenge - How many can you name?

These are some of the photos we have taken of local birds over the past month.  How many birds can you name?  There are 19 birds in the picture. 
Good Luck...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's a blurry picture... but what type of duck is this?

We saw this little duck on our walk in the park.  He was very difficult to get a picture of as he was hiding near the bank and moving all the time.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What bird is this?

We saw this bird on our trip to the park.  We think it's an Egyptian Swan, but we are not sure.  Can anyone help us?

Garden Birds Survey

Log on to BirdWatch Ireland to enter the results from your Garden Bird Survey.  Use the notes you have taken in your notebook and on your survey form to help you.

Click on the BirdWatch Ireland logo to take you to the survey page.  You will have to register using your e-mail address to log on to the website.

What do you think?

Hello ladies...
We have been working on our project for almost 6 weeks and we have been very busy.
During that time we have carried our plenty of internet research, taken a research trip to the library, and we've gone on field trips around our school grounds, to Bray Harbour and the People's Park.  We have had a number of visitors to the class to talk to us about  birds, and also we have worked with other classes to teach them what we have learned. 
We have been feeding the birds outside our classroom, and every day we spend time watching them to see how they behave, what food they like to eat, and what they look like.  You have also done lots of work at home.  Everyone has been feeding the birds in their garden and watching carefully to see which birds are visiting.  We have recorded this information for the BirdWatch Ireland Garden Birds Survey.   We have also looked at different bird feeders and bird food to test which is the most popular with different types of birds.
We have worked in class on art projects to do with birds.
We have used all we have learned from our internet research, books, posters and visitors, but most importantly, from what we have seen to write reports about the wild birds in our local area. 
All our reports, photos and videos are collected here on our blog.  We have had some interesting visitors who have left some very helpful information and you girls have been brilliant at leaving comments and giving feedback to our visitors and to each other.

I'd like to know, after all this work, what do you think?
  • What has been your favourite part of the project?
  • What has been the most interesting thing you have learned?
  • Was there anything you found difficult?
  • Did you learn any new skills?
  • Was there any part of the project you didn't enjoy?
I look forward to reading your replies...

Ms McHale

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wise Words from Dermot

Hello again 4th Class,
I have been looking at your pictures outside your classroom window. You have some birds not on your list pictured there. 2,3,4,5 are pics of a Great Tit. Pic 12 is a male Siskin, a little finch that visits feeders in the Winter. In Pics 18,19,20 you have a Dunnock, sometimes called a Hedge Sparrow although it is not related to Sparrows at all.Your list should be up to fifty birds by trhe Summer! Nice work, all of you.

First Class Came to Visit

1st class heard about all our great work with birds.  They were very interested so we invited them to our classroom to do some birdwatching with us. 
When they arrived we broke the class into two small groups.  We gave them binoculars so they could see all the birds outside the classroom window.  Five of us were asked to be window-watchers so we could point out different birds to them.  They loved looking out the window and they got really good at seeing the birds and finding them on the bird identification posters.

We also showed them all our books and posters about birds and we played some of the videos we have taken of different birds so they could watch how the birds move.

Ms Stone brought us a beautiful painting of blue tits hanging on a branch, which she inherited from her grandmother.

We all have a really lovely afternoon.  Thanks for visiting 1st class.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Science at home: Designing Bird Feeders

We have been working on a project at home.  Our task was to design two different bird feeders, which we could hang in our garden.  We had to design them using waterproof materials (so they could stay outside in the rain).  We brought them in to school to show each other and compare our feeders.  It was great, we all used different types of materials and all the feeders look different. 
During our mid-term break we're going to bring our feeders home to hang in our garden.  We'll put the same type of food in each feeder and watch to see which feeders are the most attractive for the birds.

Some Very Special Pets

Today Megan and Lauren brought their pet canaries, Bono and Joey, to visit the school.  They visited  4th class, senior  infants,1st  class and 3rd class.

First Lauren and Megan showed and talked about their canaries to 4th class.  They talked about how they clean them and wash them, how they clean their cage and how they give them air.
They answed questions from the class and  told us about  who takes care of the birds and who plays with them .

Next they went  to senior infants to explain to them what they eat and how the canarys behave. 

After that they went  to 1st class for a visit.  It was a great suprise for first class because they did not know they were coming.  Again they explained to them everything they knew they really enjoyed it.  1st class are going to write a report on the canary.  We can add that on to the website.

Next they went  to 3rd class.  They ansewered their questions and told them how the canaries behave and what they eat and  how they play with them.

It was a very good day!!!  Well done girls and thanks for bringing in the beautiful birds.

By Lauren, MoreBlessing and Tarryn

Our Birdwatching Day.

A few of the girls wrote a report about our birdwatching day.  They wrote the report at home and then e-mailed them to me.  We also took some photos during the day.  I think they're so great that I wanted to share them with you.
Ms McHale.

Reporter 1: Amber K
Today walking down the park was interesting.
Because we seen a new swan the egyiption swan that we never seen before.
We saw loads of seagulls some mallard ducks.
Some of us saw black birds,Hooded Crow,rook. Some of us did see them birds some of us didn't.

Then we sketched two birds and we were suppose to take down what birds we saw as well that was really fun. We took our
  • cameras
  • binoculars
  • pencil's and rubber's
  • bird watching note books
  1. with our camera's we zoomed in to take a better look at the birds
  2. with our binouculars we looked in them to see if we saw birds
  3. with our bird watching notebooks  we took down what birds we saw where they m/f  and the last one was to count  how many we saw
                                                     thats interesting
so i really love to see more birds/ducks down parks,fields,front gardens anywhere  at all.
                                                thats all i wanted to say

Reporter 2: Tarryn
Today the (14 of February) 4th class went to Dargle Park in Bray to do some birdwatching. It was a bright sunny morning and the birds were happily chirping. We saw lots of different  birds like the Seagull, Rook, Egyptian  swan, Blackbird and Mallard duck.  It was a very enjoyable outing and I was excited to see the Egyptian Swan.
Back at school, 3rd class joined us for bird watching from our classroom window where they saw a Coal Tit, a Blackbird and a Robin.
During the afternoon 4th class went to Senior Infants. We were each given a Senior Infants pupil to mind. We went outside around the school looking for signs of spring. We had to work from a sheet that my teacher, Ms McHale, gave to us to help us find the signs of spring. We saw buds, daffodil shoots, little baby leaves on the trees and new bushes.   I had a lovely day at school today.

Reporter 3: Naoimi

On monday we went to the park to have a look at birds .We saw rooks,sea gulls,mallerd ducks and an egyptian swan.We had never seen an egyptian swan before so it was very interesting and exciting! When we came back 3rd class came in to our class to look out the window for birds with us. We saw a great tit,a robin and a hooded crow. When we came in from yard we went on a nature walk with senior infants. We each got a partner and went to look for birds and signs of nature.We saw a hooded crow and a few sea gulls flying by.
It was really an exciting day!
Reporter 4: Sophie
Today we went to the park . We fed the birds bread in the peoples park which is in Bray . When we threw out the bread on the grass, suddenly seagulls, crows and rooks came gliding down . There was so many birds flying that you could hardly see a thing it was even difficult to see the sky. When we were finished feeding the bird's we sketched the birds that we had seen in our note book. I really enjoyed doing this.

While we were gone to feed the birds and take some photo's third class were using our class room to do some bird watching of their own.

Later on that day my class mates and I brought the senior infants class out around the school grounds for a spring walk. We tried to explain to them some of the signs of spring such as buds on the trees and shoots from flowers.
Reporter 5: Natalia B
Today was my favorite day in Ireland.  The sun was shining, it was a little cold and warm wind was blowing.  I am with my class went to the park. I saw the Egyptian swan.  I saw a very nice birds.  I saw rooks, blackbirds, gulls and ducks.   We took pictures of all the birds we've seen.  Then we went to the playground, it was very good.  It was a really nice day.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mallard Duck

The mallard duck is a water bird.   A baby duck is called a duckling.

The mallard duck is a vegetarian.  The mallard  duck eats water weeds, bread and scraps. Brown bread is healthier  than white bread but they can still eat it.

The mallard  duck lives on land and swims in the water.  It builds it's nest in the reeds.

This picture was taken during our field trip to the
People's Park in Bray.
The male mallard duck has a green  head, an orange beak and orange legs, brown and white wings and a blue patch on its wing.  The female mallard duck has brown and white speckled feathers.  She  also has a brown and orange beak.

The mallard duck has webbed feet to help it swim, but this means it waddles when it walks.  It is a good flyer, and it skims over the water when it is landing.


Tarryn, MoreBlessing and Lauren

Racing Pigeon

The racing pigeon is one of a large group of pigeons.

Pigeons can fly very fast.  Up to 60 miles per hour.  They are very good at finding their way home.  That's why people keep them as racing pigeons. There are a number of pigeon shows on in different Countries i.e. black pool.  This is where pigeon fanciers go to buy and sell pigeons and pigeon products .  Also it is a way for pigeon fanciers to get to know each other.  When pigeons go racing they go in a big truck with lots of other pigeons from all over Dublin.  They travel for hours until they reach there destination such as the inland races. In Ireland some of these places are Mallow, Pilmore Beach, Thurles, Skibbereen and Barleycove.  There are Channel Races in Talbenny, Sennen Cove, and St. Malo in  France which is the longest race.

By Amy, Temera and Hannah A
Pigeons eat pigeon food, beans, Pease, Hormoform, and maize.  Pigeons get feed twice a day .  They also drink water.    The vitamins the pigeons get is called Gem Ultra-vits.  This is full of vitamins and nutrients for the pigeons.  They also get health grit and minerals  and Red Band .

The racing pigeon is a large bird.   It has a big, round breast, short legs with reddish-pink claws, strong wings and a medium length tail.  They have small, black, red or brown eyes, and curved, pointy beaks.
They can be lots of colours, such as blue , red , white , black , mealy, grizzles, pied, check pied, blue pied , red pied, black pied, mealy pied, black grizzle , red grizzle , blue grizzle, check grizzle.
Baby pigeons have yellow fluffy feathers when they are very young, and then they grow grey feathers as they get older.
Pigeons can be seen all around town. They live in lofts but commoners don’t live in lofts.   Most racing pigeons have a little pigeon ring around there foot with numbers on it for when there gone racing and they come back with the ring on there foot and the owner clocks it in to the clock . Commoners means a pigeon that has no owner and he has no ring on his foot. 

Pigeons are a unique and intelligent birds.  They  are very  smart little birds.  Some pigeons fight over the smallest bit of food.  They will  fight for their nest box and their perch and fight for their young if any other pigeon goes near them.
When they fight they stand up to each other.  They will smack each other with their wings and they will also peck at each other.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Everyone is getting involved...

We're still busy writing our reports.  They'll all start appearing on our blog over the next few days.  The news of our project is spreading and other teachers are getting involved.  Dave Foley came in to see what was happening.  One of the groups showed him what they were doing and explained how to use the blog.  He was very interested in our bird watching.  While he was in the room he saw a robin, two blackbirds and a wagtail.  He'll have to come back for another visit soon.

Message from Diane Spencer

Hello Class 4 
I have really enjoyed reading your blog! I am also learning about different kinds of birds, I thought your turnstone photo was fantastic! I am very envious because I have never seen one! Lucky you! The next few weeks are going to be really exciting for bird lovers. Lots of our migrants will be flying in to breed during the Spring, so you should see lots of chicks over the next month or two.
Keep up the good work!
Best wishes,
Dianne Spencer

Sparrow hawk from Bill

Hi all

The photos are, we think, of a Sparrowhawk which we found on our front lawn munching on a pigeon. We sat in our car for five minutes before it saw us and flew away. When we got into the house we found that it was sat on our hedge and the two photos are taken from my bedroom window!!

At first we thought it might be a Goshawk but it was too small for that (although there is a family of Goshawks about five miles from us who live in a wood next to a racing pigeon training stable. I live in Grantham and we do see some beautiful birds. I think that it is because we are not far from a nature reserve.

I do hope you like the pictures and good luck with your project I will follow your posts with interest


Art Work - Flying Birds

We have been doing a number of art projects related to our Birdwatch Study. 

Our most recent project was to make hanging birds to decorate our classroom.  Some of us chose to decorate our birds to look like real birds we have seen outside our classroom window, and some of us invented an imaginary bird.

Now they're all hung and it looks like we have a flock of birds flying around our classroom.  It's lovely.

Special Visitor

Ms Hayes,  one of the wonderful teachers in our school, came to our class on Friday afternoon to join us for some birdwatching.  Ms Hayes used to be a member of Birdwatch Ireland, and she knows alot about birds.  She brought a beautiful calendar with her which was full of amazing photos.  She talked to us about the things we should look out for when we're trying to identify birds.
We should look at:
Their size and their feathers.
Their beaks - to tell us what type of food they like to eat.
Their wings - to see if there are any markings or "flashings"
Their feet - to see where the bird usually lives.

She also did some birdwatching with us and was amazed at all the birds we were able to name already.
It's great to have others involved in our project.

Thanks Ms Hayes.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blue Tit

A blue-tit is a member of the tit family.

A blue tit is a small bird.  It is 12 cm long.  It has a blue cap with white cheeks and yellow underparts.  The young birds are more yellowish overall. The blue tit has a bit of white on its head, big black eyes and a black beak. 
They have small tails and short beaks.  When oil shines on them they shine beautifully.  It looks green and  light yellow. 

They love peanuts and bird cakes, and are often first on the feeders.

A blue tit makes a "churr" sound.  Its song is a clear, quite high-pitched "tsee-hee-he-hee…".  It's call is a series of scolding chuckles, and also many short twitters.
A blue tit is so light and it is so acrobatic that it can feed from the thinnest branches where bigger birds can't reach.  It is only a small bird, but it scolds bigger birds when they try to push them out of the way. 
It is very hard to  see a blue tit.  It  is a wild bird  and not a pet bird .Blue tits nest in tree holes - or nest boxes if you  put  them  up.  
Blue tits breed throughout Ireland. They prefer broad-leaved woodland, but also in farmland, parks and gardens. They nest in cavities in trees or walls, often choosing unusual sites such as a pipes or letterboxes. 
The most common  place to find blue tits in Ireland is Knocksink woods.

Kirsty, Niamh and Sophie


The robin is a bird.  It is a member of the thrush family.

It is a very small bird.  The robin is 14-15 cm long.  The robin has a bright red face and breast, just like on a Christmas card.  It also has a white belly and eye ring. It has a small and strong beak.  It also has brown wings. It has a grey and white belly.

The robin loves to eat bread.  Brown is better than white.  It also loves to eat worms, bird seeds and fruits, e.g.apples, berries.  The robin drinks water.

The robin often hops around and sometimes runs too!  The robin is very fast at running!!  It also sings a lovely tune.  Its like a lovely whistle song.  The male robin sings the loveliest song to attract the female.  Sometimes the robin sings in the night!
The robin can live in parks, trees, bushes and gardens. It can be seen in the countryside and in cities.  The robin can be seen in Ireland and the Great Britain.

The robin is fatter in the Winter!
The robin is a very friendly bird.  It often hops around when gardeners are working, looking for worms.

Kieva, Roeanne and Natalia B

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What bird is this?

We saw this bird on our trip to Bray Harbour.

What bird is this?

Our Trip to Bray Harbour: Visiting the Swans

What a team!!
In January our class went for a walk down to Bray Harbour to visit the colony of mute swans that live there. 

We had to remember a few rules:
Don't get too close to the swans as they are terretorial birds.
Stay calm and quiet so we don't scare the birds.

It was a great experience as we saw loads of birds, and we were very close to them.  It was a great change to look at their behaviour and what they look like.

We took some photos.

We fed the birds.

We took loads of photos of the birds and the harbour, and of course of each other.

Some of us brought food so we could feed the birds.

I'd like everyone to leave a comment about what they enjoyed most during the day.  What are your special memories?

Bird-watching in the classroom

What an exciting afternoon we had.  We have been putting food outside our classroom window to try and attract some of the birds closer to us so we can watch them. 

This afternoon we put out some oats and some bread scraps on the wall.  We filled a bird feeder with seed and hung it on a tree, and we hung a suet ball for birds from another tree.  We didn't think we'd have many birds this afternoon, because there were so many people walking past our classroom.

But...we were wrong!

One group was put in charge of the birdwatching while the rest of us worked on our bird reports.  The group had binoculars and a camera.  They had the bird identification posters ready just in case anything came for a bite.

Over the afternoon we saw loads of different types of birds.  Two hooded crows came to eat our oats and bread.  We also saw a siskin, five gold finches, a robin, a male and female blackbird, two coal tits, a magpie, a long-tailed tit, a pied wagtail and a chaffinch.  It was really exciting.  They hopped and flew about very fast so we had to be quick to spot them.  We looked at their appearance carefully and check some of them using the posters, but we managed very well.
By the end of the afternoon everyone was looking out the window.

Tomorrow we'll put some food out earlier and we'll leave a team of birdwatchers at the window all day to see what birds come to visit.

Wood Pigeon

The  wood pigeon is a cousin of the feral pigeon. 

The woodpigeon is 41cm long.   It has  a white  patch on its  neck, grey feathers on its head, back and wings and it has a mauve breast.

The wood pigeon is a vegetarian. They eat bread, peanuts, ivy berries, acorns, weed seed and oats.  Brown bread is healthier but they can also eat white bread.  In the summer they  feed  on  cereals,potatoes,beans,peas and greens.

The wood pigeon makes  its nest with  twigs, sticks and dirt.  It feeds its babies by collecting worms,flys and spiders.

It lives  in towns and  cities .  Most  pigeons live  in  Britain and Ireland.

Bird Watching walk around the school

Today we went on a walk to look for birds around the school.  We brought our binoculars, our bird-watching notebooks and our pencils and rubbers.
We had to be really quiet, stay together, and look around in the the trees, the sky, on the buildings, in the bushes, on the ground.

We got on really well.  We saw lots of birds.  The birds we saw today were:
Robin; Magpie; Hooded Crow; Coal Tit; Racing Pigeon; Wood Pigeon; Seagull; Wren; Blackbird; Great Tit; Blue Tit

We also listened to some of the birds singing:
The robin has a lovely, loud, musical chirp.
The pigeon has a soft cooing sound.
The crow has loud, rough sound.
The magpie has a repetitive, loud, rough laugh like a machine gun.

We had a great time and lots of fun.  It's nice to get outside into the fresh air.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Mute Swan

Classification:Swans are white birds. They are flying birds and they live near water. A male swan is called a cob, a female is called a pen and a baby swan is called a cygnet.

Appearance:The mute swan is white and feathery with a long, graceful neck. Swans have long, orange beaks with a bit of black at the top of their beaks. Swans have white feathers. They have black webbed feet and short, black, skinny legs. They have an oval shaped body and a short, pointy tail.
The mute swan is Irelands biggest bird. When the male swan stands up it could be the size of a twelve year old girl.
When a swan is in the water, to dry it's wings it makes a loveheart shape with it's wings.

Habitat:Swans are water birds. All swans live near the water. They live near rivers, lakes, harbours, beaches, canals, or ponds. Swans sleep on land.
There is a colony of mute swans in Bray Harbour.

Diet:Swans are herbivore birds. This means they are mostly vegetarian.
Swans can be fed bread. Brown bread is healthier than white bread. They come out of the water when people give food to them.
They hunt for plants and drink water. Swans can use their long necks to reach water plants at depths of one meter.
They also graze on land and sometimes feed on amphibians, snails and insects.

Behaviour:Swans fly high in the sky. When swans get ready to fly, they flap their wings and run across the surface until they are ready to fly. When swans fly their wings beat powerfully and slowly with a swishing sound.
Swans have webbed feet to swim very gracefully, but they waddle when they walk.
Swans can be agressive and dangerous. They hiss and peck at each other. One reason for this is to clean each other, and another reason is for fighting. They are also territorial birds, which means they like to protect their own space.
Swans are not good pets.

What to look out for...

When you see a bird, as yourself these questions.

Using this information you can use your bird guide to help to identify your bird.