Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Behind the Visitor Center: Birds and Solar Observing

 I got a tip the other day that some birds were nesting behind the Lehman Caves Visitor Center at Great Basin National Park. I went and took a look, and sure enough, there was a nest with two little mouths visible. We looked around and found the mama bird:
A Say's phoebe. Both males and females Say's phoebes look very similar, with gray backs, blush-colored abdomens, and black tails that they wag a lot. Say's phoebes are flycatchers that don't mind being around people, and they usually nest on buildings.

We also noticed another nest close by:

 This one was occupied by a barn swallow, with another barn swallow flying in frequently.

I took the kids up after work to check out the birds, and they thought they were pretty cool. 

They were also happy to participate in another activity behind the visitor center:
 Solar observing! We could see solar prominences around the sun, as well as a couple sun spots.

For their efforts, the kids received solar observer certificates, and we took a photo with the park volunteer, Tom.

After some browsing in the book store and cafe and gift shop, we went back out to watch the birds. The kids were much more patient than I expected, and it was pretty cool seeing what mama bird was bringing back to her babies. It looked like she was catching a lot of moths, but also grasshoppers and flies.

I knew the kids were having a good time when they asked me to be their mama bird and feed them. I hope they aren't picky eaters!

1 comment:

I Am Woody said...

Solar observing is very cool!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

blogger templates