Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Visit with a Naturalist--Part Two

For most of the winter during my Second Looks, I found bones in the "wild" part of our yard. I became quite fascinated with them and wondered what they were and how they ended up where they were. Ward and I visited with a naturalist and found answers to some of our questions. I reported about the mammal part of that discussion in A Visit with a Naturalist--Part One.

I've been meaning to do the followup post of our visit for a couple of months now, and it looks like today is the day. This time I will focus on birds. More specifically, on parts of a crow that were found over several weeks. However, the problem with waiting for a couple of months after our visit, is that I forgot almost everything the naturalist told us. I do remember the bones were pretty easy to identify as coming from a bird because they were so lightweight. Also, the feathers found near some of the bones suggested that we had found parts of a crow. After that, it's all fuzzy in my head.

So today, I got out the bird bones we had collected and tried to figure them out. After a lot of Googling and help from Ward, I thought I had deduced what were the different parts of the crow. However, after more study, I realized that I had the front and back of the bird mixed up. Back to the drawing board. After more work, I think I have a pretty good idea of what we have. (And we only had two parts leftover.) Below you will see "our crow".

This drawing from the Enchanted Learning Company is what we ultimately used to identify the skeletal parts.

Here are the bones in their approximate positions.

Here is one of the wing feathers. The naturalist said that you could tell that by its shape. One side is much wider that the other making it look like an airplane wing. I found that really interesting.

Here are our leftover parts. They were a little darker than the others, so we thought that maybe they came from another bird/critter.

But Wait, There's More:

I think this is the crow's skull. However, at that time I wasn't collecting bones. I couldn't find it when I looked for it later.