Signs of Spring- Bird Sightings

Birds have been active in my neck of the woods. This morning, my daughter heard this one before she saw it. She rushed inside to mimic it's call to me. We watched it for as long as we could before we had to leave for school.

We put our hummingbird feeder out this week. Within one hour we had our first visitor.

Even as I'm writing this in my screened in porch, the number of birds in my yard is astounding...
I literally just stopped typing to snap these photos from within my porch. (The photo quality isn't great because I shot them through a screen, but they help make my point.)

 And then there are these impressive birds that have been hovering over my yard for the past few weeks. Anyone know what they are? Leave your guesses in the comments.

ADDED May 10, 2010
I can now say with confidence that the first bird is a Turkey Vulture and the second one is an Osprey.

Also, while browsing in my favorite, local Indie bookstore, Baker Books, I found this book the other day:

It would be a fantastic addition to a study of birds of prey. Large "gatefolds" (pages that fold out) help readers comprehend the size of the birds wingspans.
END added material.

Birds are everywhere. Regardless of whether you live in a rural, urban, or suburban area, you can enjoy birdwatching with your children and students. Learning their names may appeal to some children but learning about nature does not require labeling the species you see. Some even argue that labeling stops the learning- once you know the name of a bird, you can look it up and learn facts from another source. If you don't know the name, you tend to focus on making your own observations and end up with a more intimate knowledge of the animal.

If bird watching appeals to you and your students I highly recommend Inquiry at the Window:

 You can also read my post on Hummingbirds from last year.

Have you been noticing lots of birds in your area? What have you been seeing? Please be sure to tell us your general geographical area.