Like many kids this Christmas, Evan got to open lots of presents whose contents ranged from toy helicopters to the ever practical sweatshirt. What was different for Evan compared to his peers, however, is that he also got some gifts that will help him take his birding to the next level. The first of those, and most practical, is a set of binoculars that are his size. In an earlier post, A Glowing Flame in the Treetops, I mentioned that Evan struggled with binoculars and could not view the exciting Blackburnian Warbler. Hopefully, we won’t have that problem any more!
The other big birding gift, which may not seem like a birding gift, was an iPod. I know, I know, many of you may wonder why a five-year-old needs an iPod. There are many reasons that we got him one (educational games, music device, etc), but one of those reasons is the Audobon Society’s Bird App. This is a very cool app that allows Evan to go through a pictorial index of birds, click on them, and then listen to their songs and call notes. It makes bird identification a whole lot easier when you can learn the auditory component. So, when he’s not listening to and singing along with Justin Bieber on his iPod, he can listen to bird songs so he’ll be prepared the next time we go out birding!
It also seems that we have another birder in training as you can see in the photo below. The other day Marin and I were watching a group of about 10 pheasants when she exclaimed, “I want to see more pheasants!” As she takes all her cues from her older brother and watches him like a hawk (another intended pun), I have no doubt that she’ll be birding right with us in a few years!
(P.S. Check out Evan’s updated Life List page. Thank you, Jason Wallestad, co-founder of School Newspapers Online, for helping me set up this page.)