So the chicks are now one week old and noticeably bigger!
In this one week:
Their average weight is up from 1.39 ounces to 1.55 ounces
They are trying to flap around and fly more
They definitely poop more and we have to clean out their box like 3 times a day!
Their bony shaft is now turning to full feathers on their wings
The Black (Australorp) seem more friendly and let us hold them more. They also sleep more.
The Yellow (Buff Orpington) are more nervous for us to pick them up and try to fly around more.
What is our most often asked question?
HOW can you tell them apart?
Well, meet Laura! She is yellow with a tiny red dot on her beak.
Leia is black with a mostly white beak.
Mary is yellow but slightly darker and has no mark on her beak.
And Hazel is black with a black beak and also the largest right now.
(and, Yes, some of these are named after some of our favorite characters.)
You can often find camouflage animals living all around us.
One day, while I was outside, I spotted a moth on the big White Oak tree in our yard. It used camouflage to disguise itself as the lichen-covered bark on the tree. This helps protect it from its predators such as bird or lizards.
Can you spot it? Can you find one this week outside? Keep an eye out for camouflage! Let us know what you find and submit your own picture and explanation of clever camouflage in nature.
Animals and plants can be amazing, but some can also be disgusting.
The Hoatzin bird builds its nest above the water of the river. This enables the chicks to simply hop into the water and swim to safety if the nest is attacked. The chicks also have small claws on its wings to help it grip and climb trees.
But here is the gross part: the leaves that the Hoatzin eats are fermented in its throat. This gives the bird awful breath! This is why the people in northern South America call it the Stink bird and no one hunts this animal. The same thing happens in a cow’s stomach. This is why the Hoatzin smells like cow manure.
The Rafflesia Flower
Some plants are revolting too.
The Rafflesia flower, or corpse flower, literally smells like rotting meat. It is often larger than 3 feet wide and can weigh more than 200 pounds! The awful smell it puts off helps attract flies and beetles which will help pollinate the flower. Also this plant has no stem, leaves or even roots!
It is named after Sir Stamford Raffles the leader of the expedition on which it was first recorded and grows naturally in Indonesia.
While on a camping trip to Uwharrie national Forest in NC, I noticed a small piece of lichen that appeared to be moving.
When I looked closer I found that it was actually a small pill bug covered in the lichen! I found it fascinating that bugs could disguise themselves in such ways. Can you spot it among the rust and dirt on an outdoor grill?
Lichen is actually a type of fungus and algae that grows on rocks and trees. One cool fact about lichen is that they help absorb toxins in the atmosphere. You can read more from the US Department of Agriculture about Lichen here.
See if you can find any cool camoflauge in nature and send us a picture!
Welcome to my new Nature blog – by kids and for kids!
Hello! My name is Judah and I love all things nature!
I have a pet turtle, named Snapper and enjoy watching birds from my window. I like camping, exploring and learning about animals and plants. I enjoy searching for animals and making structures with the rocks near a stream. I also like finding plants in our yard, re-potting them and watching them grow.
Soon I will be getting chicks for the first time and I’m looking forward to watching them grow too.
This is my pet Snapper! She’s a painted turtle that has lived in a tank in my room for about 4 years now. We rescued her near the highway by a river. You may not think you can take an aquatic turtle outside but I often let Snapper walk around in the grass, while keeping an eye on her. I also made a small cage with no floor which can be placed in the grass and Snapper can walk around without escaping.
I enjoy watching Snapper swim in the tank and get excited every time someone walks in the room. She dives off her dock and splashes energetically.
I hope that by reading this blog you and I will learn more about nature as we explore it together!