Amie and I spotted the first Robins of the year on 21 January. One of them was climbing the cranberry bushes underneath our feeders and kept falling off. He looked clumsy, groggy. Our neighbor – who can tell us which bird settled in our gardens in which year, going decades back – told us that when Robins eat fermented berries, they get drunk. I would tell the story to Amie but she has no idea what “drunk” means, and I don’t know if I want to clue her in on that one yet. (having a deep abhorrence for drunkenness)… It was a sight to behold, nevertheless: funny and (for me) worrisome too.
I was looking for more information about the migrations of Robins and found this neat website for children and teachers about seasonal change called Journey North. There are pages about plants and the seasons and migrations of birds, worms, butterflies, frogs, etc. The ultimate goal is to help kids understand that all living systems are driven by the sunlight in a dynamic ecosystem that connects them.
Kids can enter their observations – we did so with our Robins – and then see maps, their own observation included. It’s like the Mass Audubon eBird, only more child-focused.