June 9, 2018 — SpruceHaven

Barn Swallows and More at SpruceHaven Farm
WRN Kids has already wrapped up for the school year as far as regular meetings go but today, a few families came along for one last bonus outing.
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We were excited to meet at SpruceHaven Farm in St. Agatha and spend time with David Gascoigne, an amazing and inspiring bird expert.  He showed us the Barn Swallow colony in the barn and explained how volunteers climb a ladder and use a mirror to check the cool nests made of mud.  They record how many eggs are laid and how many baby Barn Swallows hatch.
David ‘borrowed’ a tiny one-day-old Barn Swallow out of a nest just for a minute to show us close up!  (We know normally we should leave baby birds alone but he reassured us that this will not make the parents reject the baby.)

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Then, we went to another part of the farm and saw a Eastern Bluebird (a first for several of us) and Tree Swallows.  David knew the Tree Swallows had babies in a nesting box and we got to see one and some of us even held it!  It was 10 days old and looked a lot more grown up than the tiny Barn Swallow.
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While we were walking, Maryam saw some foamy stuff on a plant and one of our volunteers, Linda, told her about Spittle Bugs and how to find them in the spit!  Maryam is now an expert because she found several!
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We saw lots of other amazing things at SpruceHaven and before we left, we even got gifts!…  great bird swag from David and a baby, native dogwood bush from Sandy.  We want to thank David for showing us around and also Dave Westfall, Sandy Hill and Jamie Hill who kindly allow visitors to come to their farm to learn about nature.

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Thanks to all the awesome Kids, families, volunteers and leaders who were part of WRN Kids this year!  Registration is open now for the fall so sign up soon https://wrnatureclub.wordpress.com/  for another year of nature fun and learning!
Marg Paré
WRN Kids coordinator
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