Mornin abody 🙂
Answers to yesterday’s Extra Challenge at the end of this post 🙂
Well today’s bird is one you may have seen in town, the countryside or if you live near the sea, you may have noticed them there.
Look at its beak, what food do you think it eats?
This bird has brightly coloured legs, beak and eye. With its beautiful black and white feathers I always think it looks like it has a dinner suit on!
Challenge – can you draw this one?
This bird is the oystercatcher.
The male (Mr) and the female (Mrs) look similar, although the male is very slightly bigger.
In the above picture there’s a clue on the oystercatcher’s beak as to what these birds like to eat when they are not at the sea! The bill is like a drill, digging into the grass to find insects and worms.
If you see oystercatchers by the sea, they might be doing what their name says – catching oysters. Their strong beak can prise open shellfish to get the food inside.
Moving house – in winter most oystercatchers move to coastal areas to feed.
In February, they return to their nesting areas. I think they look like the bird version of the red arrows as they fly in sync with each other 🙂
In the above video the oystercatchers are so noisy!
Bird call – when oystercatchers return in February, you hear their sharp pipey call -‘Peep, peep, peep!
This is a happy sound-reminder that Spring is approaching, and these birds are sometimes referred to as the bird of Bryde.
In the video you can see they are doing a funny dance while they call, this is what oystercatchers do when they are pairing up for breeding.
Challenge – can you make up a wee song with the oystercatcher’s call in it?
Nesting – oystercatchers often nest on the ground – I remember finding one nest in a castle carpark 🙂 At one school in Aberdeen they nested in a raised bed!
But in town oystercatchers mostly look for flat roofs to nest on, where they can keep a good look out for predators. And oh michty! they let everyone know if danger is near.
Challenge – can you find oystercatchers nesting near you? The clue will be listening out for their peeping call 🙂
Time for a tale – this a Scottish folk tale fae Caithness called ‘the Seal Catcher and the Merman
Chirpy Challenge 9 – Extra Challenge answers
This is the jackdaw. It is much smaller than the crow and has blue eyes. The back of its head is a pale blueish-grey.
This is a magpie. It is a handsome bird with a long tail. It is a very efficient nest hunter.
This bird is a rook. Its beak is thicker than that of a crow. But sometimes it can be hard to tell them apart. Rooks and jackdaws often nest together in huge rookeries.
It would be great to hear your comments, see your drawings and hear your tales, you can add them to the Woodside or the Silverhaar facebook page!
This is the final weekday post for the holidays. But look out for more on a regular basis 😉
Thanks for joining in x