Danny is obsessed with birds. He talks constantly about them and even has imaginary pet baby birds, updating us regularly on their needs, their behavior, and their location. He is learning about birds at his preschool too and often comes home from school excitedly telling us about different birds – some that likepeople, others that like to be left alone, some that talk, others that sing, etc. He made this art project which is a bird with wings made by tracing his hands.
Last weekend Danny’s preschool took a family field trip to Asora, a nearby bird park. Patrick was excited that the field trip was on a Saturday so he could attend and see some of his old classmates. Two weeks before the trip, the preschool gave each student a brochure from the bird park. Danny carried it with him everywhere, looking at it frequently and telling us all about our upcoming adventure.
Our nanny Maria, owner of Lola the bird, gave us a small bag of bird seed Lola didn’t want. Apparently Lola only eats apples and bananas and won’t eat birdseed. Maria wisely divided the bird seed into two small ziplock bags so that each boy could have one.
As we walked in the gate to the park, Patrick looked around and said, “It’s a good thing Kev isn’t here because he crawls fast and we don’t want to lose him.” When Brian and I decided to leave Kev at home with Maria it had been motivated by his feeding and eating schedule, but not wanting to misplace a baby is also an important factor.
Once the kids took their seats, the program began. The director of preschool spoke first and announced her retirement and the closure of the preschool. So that’s a bummer.
After each of the teachers briefly spoke, bird experts gave a few informative talks teaching the kids about various birds, what they eat, and the size of eggs they lay.
We learned that a Blue Macaw – featured the movie Rio – is hunted for its feathers and meat. A hummingbird lays the smallest eggs. An ostrich lays the biggest egg. Birds need to drink lots of water, but even when it’s hot out, birds shouldn’t drink really cold water. Most birds eat fruit, nuts and seeds, and people should not feed birds bread, breadsticks, candy, chocolate, milk, or alcohol. There are only about 8,000 bird species left in the world. Asora works to preserve bird species through reproduction of birds in captivity.
Next the kids sang two songs.
After that, the kids took a snack break.
The room was decorated with several beautiful, large birds – some hanging from the ceiling and others serving a receptacles for crayons.
Finally it was time to meet the birds!
First up was a red macaw named Martina. These birds typically live to be 90 years old and mate for life. When one partner dies, the other does soon after. A female red macaw lays 5 eggs every spring.
Next we met Touki the toucan. Toucans eat meat and need to drink a lot of water. The female lays 3-5 eggs each spring and once baby birds are born, the parents will stay awake at night to protect the baby birds. Toucans typically live to be 50 years old and live in groups with other toucans.
The best part of meeting Touki was that the boys got to hold her!
Next we meet Luque the loro (parrot). Parrots generally live to be 60 years old and the female lays 3-5 years every spring. A parrot can be taught to speak.
Finally we met Ricki, an Australia cockatoo from Brazil. This species lives 25-30 years and the female will lay 3-5 eggs each spring. Like a parrot, a cockatoo can be taught to speak. Ricki speaks Guarani and Spanish.
Walking around the property, we saw several other beautiful and interesting birds.
The boys were thrilled about the treasured feathers they found on the ground.
After meeting the birds, the boys climbed up into the bird house.
We got to take a picture with Martina and Touki.
The boys were happy to see Kev and tell him about their bird adventures and show him their drawings and feathers.
That night we had a belated 40th birthday party for daddy who had been traveling on his actual birthday. The boys were excited about eating and decorating the cake, and especially eating a little frosting during the decorating process.
During dinner all three boys took breaks to poop – at least two of them did so in a toilet. Kev still needs to work on that.
The boys helped Brian blow out the candles on the cake.
We had a great day together!