We have Jacky Winters living in the shrubs on the paddock boundaries and we often see them perching on the fence. They also love to perch and hunt from a wattle which grows next to our daily walking track. They’re very active early in the morning and in the late afternoon. This is when the males are singing and courting the females. They are at their loudest from September to October but when the nestlings emerge they quieten down.
Indoor Prep Work
Visit your favourite nature spot or a shrubby woodland area to observe Jacky Winters. Search the shrubs, fences and posts where they like to perch. Observe their behaviours and how they hunt for food. What do they eat? How do they catch their prey? Can you hear the male choruses? Are the birds courting, incubating eggs or raising nestlings? Do you notice any nests? Are there nestlings or eggs sheltered in the nest? How old do you think they are? What colour are the eggs? What materials are used to make the nests and where are they positioned in the tree? Why do you think they chose that spot? Take photographs of the birds, their nests and eggs. Listen to the sound of it’s call.
Observe the birds colouring and how it holds itself. What are the birds distinguishing features? Once you’ve watched it closely or taken photographs, sketch the bird into your field journal. Label it’s anatomy, or feathers and make notes of all your observations; where you found it, the time of day and it’s behaviours. Write the Jacky Winter onto your running bird list. Write down the sound of it’s call. Can you mimic it?
- Make a bird feeder to attract birds to your backyard.
- Make a nest by using natural materials found on a bush walk.
- Describe the Jacky Winters habitat in your field journal.
- Start a new hobby bird watching first thing in the morning or in the late afternoon and record them on a bird census.
Do you like to watch birds, sketch them or take photographs? Do you have a favourite bird?
Get outside and be inspired!
PS: The Australian Nature Study Guide Volume 1 includes a full lesson on Jacky Winters which includes a poem, picture study and activities for kinda, primary and secondary school aged children. If you’d like to dig deeper then the Nature Guide is just for you as it’ll walk alongside you through the seasons, and you don’t need to worry about any prep work as it’s all been done for you. All you need is your backyard and a favourite nature spot to explore.