Back in July 2016, Macy’s mother Rose commented asking if Macy Helens and I could connect on Facebook on Rebecca (a 18p- friend of mine)’s Facebook post and my mother Camilla Downs asked me if I wanted to connect with Macy Helens before replying to Rose’s comment.
Naturally, I said yes as I was curious and eager to have a 3rd 18p- person to talk to. So I searched up ‘Macy Helens’ and sure enough I found it.
After I clicked follow, I waited for at least 1 or 2 weeks until I Facebook Messaged Macy using Messenger. And 10 minutes later, I got a reply saying Hi.
Then I asked her a few questions to get to know her. I asked, “What’s your favorite song?” at one point. Macy Helens replied, “Let It Go”. I replied, “My favorite song is Let It Go”. And after that I knew we’d be friends.
I also came know that Macy Helens was the same age as me. One year later, Camilla told me they were going to the Annual Chromosome 18 conference and I was ecstatic but I was nervous too since I didn’t know what to expect.
But when the big day came, Macy Helens and I were very shy but as we laughed shyly our shyness slowly drifted away.
We were giggling and laughing more confidently. By the end of the conference, we had become fast friends.
Hey, everyone! This story is about a girl who wants to become a princess. Her life is changed in a way she’ll never forget. Read more to find out what happens. I hope you enjoy!
Once there was a girl named Britney, she was always beautiful and kind but she was lonely. You see, Britney’s parents left for America when she was 3 and her friends left for Hawaii when she was 5.
One day, Britney was in her garden thinking about lovely it would be to be a princess. Suddenly, she heard her name being called out and she wondered who it was.When she saw a maid with a scroll, she asked who the maid was and what the scroll was.
The maid told her name was Maid Becca of England and the scroll was an invitation to the ball of England. When Becca left, she opened the scroll carefully. The scroll explained that Princess Lillian was too young to rule England so Queen Camilla declared a ball to figure out who the temporary princess should be.
The scroll explained that Princess Lillian was too young to rule England so Queen Camilla declared a ball to figure out who the temporary princess should be.
The invitation said to be there at 7:00 pm and to wear a gown or dress to the ball. Britney saw it was 6:30 pm and she went to find her beautiful sparkly rainbow gown with a ribbon around the hem and her matching sparkly rainbow tiara. (The tiara was handmade by Britney herself).
About 10 minutes later, Britney was ready for the ball. By 6:50, she saw a beautiful carriage. She stepped into the magnificent carriage and in 5 minutes they arrived.
As Britney walked into the castle, she tried to imagine what it would be like to live in the castle. Britney approached slowly to the ballroom, not sure what to expect. When Britney entered the ballroom, she found herself looking down at royalty.
After she looked down at royalty, she slowly headed down shiny marble steps in a spiral. Everyone including the royalty family looked in awe at Britney. She began to dance in slow graceful moves that impressed everyone.
When she went over to the table that had fruit punch, she started talking to Queen Camilla and King Camelot about how kind she was, she wondered being a princess was like.
When Queen Camilla finished talking, Britney politely grabbed a chocolate covered cherry. While Britney talked to Princess Lillian, Queen Camilla and King Camelot discussed whether Britney should be the temporarily crowned princess or not.
After a few hours, Queen Camilla announced it was time to decide who the temporarily crowned princess will be. Queen Camilla began, “The crowned princess will be…,” paused Queen Camilla for effect.
As a few seconds went by, Britney felt her heart beating with anxiousness. “Britney”, said Queen Camilla. Britney couldn’t believe what she had heard but she walked up to the thrones when she heard her name.
Queen Camilla said, “I now declare you Princess Britney of England. Would you like to make a speech, Princess Britney?” Britney responded with a polite yes. Britney told the royalty and people who came to the ball that she was honored to be the princess of England, tour the castle, and she would get to know everyone in the castle.
Britney ended her speech by saying, “Beauty is always in you, no matter what people say.” By the time the ball was over, it was 11:00 pm and Britney thought she should get some rest before exploring the castle the next day and she easily found her bedroom.
The next morning, she woke up not knowing where she was. After a few seconds, Britney realized she was in a castle bedroom. Now that the sun was up, she could see the princess room.
When Britney stepped outside her bedroom door, she saw a note from Queen Camilla saying that breakfast was in the ballroom at 8:30 am and when Britney looked at a nearby clock it said 7:30 pm.
The note said she had a maid named Becca to help her get dressed. Britney would just ring the bell so the maid would hear it. She rang the bell with the sweetest movement.
Britney went to her bedroom and she saw Maid Becca. Maid Becca said as she dressed Britney, “Good Morning, Princess Britney. Congratulations on becoming a princess! I think you should walk to the dining room for breakfast.”
Britney had said in response, “Good Morning, Maiden Becca! Thank you kindly. I will walk to the dining room after I take a quick glance in the mirror. “ Britney took a quick glance in the mirror and gasped.
Britney was wearing a sparkly striped rainbow dress with rosettes in her hair. She had indigo-rainbow shoes on her feet and a beautiful blue rainbow tiara on her head. Britney walked into the dining room carefully.
Britney watched how the royalty eats and she repeated the movement. After breakfast, Britney explored the castle and she met the people working inside the castle. Maid Becca told her there was a royal garden in the courtyard which was through doors.
When Maid said the word garden, Britney’s face lit up with delight. When Britney saw the garden, she walked around exploring the garden until the birds sung. Britney saw a message from Queen Camilla saying royal lessons were to be in the royal gym.
Britney told herself that she would have to come back. So Britney went back to her bedroom and rung the bell again but this time Maid Becca brought the royal tailor in to create a simple gym dress. Maid Becca gave the sizing to the royal tailor.
Britney waited patiently for the royal tailor to get done with the dress. The simple dress was created just 3 seconds later. She left her room feeling amazed and headed to the royal gym.
Britney walked into the royal gym, not sure what to expect. She was surprised to find a tutor who had lived in the castle several years and the tutor helped the past princesses and princes learn about royalty.
Britney was pleased to find the tutor was funny and shared a love of nature. Queen Camilla said Britney’s royal lessons will begin on Thursdays. Britney was delighted she had Thursdays to look forward to.
During her royal lesson, Britney learned about yoga. After her royal lesson, she found a note from King Camelot. He said to meet in the ballroom for dancing lessons.
So Britney went to her bedroom to get dressed with help from Maid Becca. After Maid Becca finished dressing her, she went to the ballroom for dancing. She was surprised the same tutor was there.
This time, the tutor demonstrated dance moves for her. The tutor explained that yoga was related to dancing in a way. After her dance lesson, she found a note telling her lunch was ready. She quickly walked toward the dining room.
Before Britney could open the door to the dining room, she was greeted by Queen Camilla. Queen Camilla said Britney was doing great and that ruling lessons began tomorrow because she was doing a great job.
Maid Becca was standing around and she offered to open the door for them. Queen Camilla and Princess Britney said it would be lovely. When they entered the door, Britney sat down to eat but she figured she should wait until everyone in the dining room was eating.
At 12:15 pm, everyone was eating including Britney herself. After lunch, there were no notes so she decided to go back to the garden again. This time, she looked around the garden until she saw a few butterflies and peacocks and she sang to them.
The peacocks and butterflies didn’t want Britney to go when she saw the note from Queen Camilla. So she went to Queen Camilla’s throne room. The first thing Queen Camilla asked was how was her day.
Britney responded by saying her day was great. The next thing Queen Camilla asked was what her favorite part of the day was. Britney said, “Going out to the garden.”
Queen Camilla asked, “Is there anything else you’d like to improve?” Britney had told Queen Camilla that she thought her singing needed to be improved. Before Britney left, Queen Camilla told her that dinner would be around 6:15 pm.
Queen Camilla had also told Britney that she had the rest of the day to do whatever she wished to do. So Britney headed toward Maid Becca and asked her if there were any different gardens.
Maid Becca said there was a butterfly garden, bird garden, flower garden. Britney thought she would go to the butterfly garden. Maid Becca told her how to get to the butterfly garden.
When Britney opened the door, she was amazed to see so many butterflies. So she walked around humming to the butterflies. Again when she left to go look for the bird garden, the butterflies didn’t want her to leave.
Britney found the bird garden easily. She was impressed with how many birds there were. As she walked in the garden, she tweeted, chirped, hooted, and cooed with a sweet melody.
Once again, the birds didn’t want her to go when she went to go to the flower garden. Britney found the flower garden door. Britney thought that the flower garden looked identical to the main garden but she went in anyway.
She sang again with a lilt in her voice and the birds and butterflies came to her. This time, the birds sang along while the butterflies fluttered their wings to the tune. The birds and butterflies didn’t want Britney to go.
Britney knew she had to go get ready for dinner. This time as Britney walked, she saw King Camelot walking toward her. When King Camelot approached, he asked how Britney liked living here and he also said Princess Lillian enjoys Britney’s company.
Britney said, “I enjoy living here, Your Majesty. I’m glad that Princess Lillian enjoys my company.” The king held the door open for Britney. When Britney sat down, she noticed everyone but King Camelot eating.
So Britney determined she should eat. Britney also made a mental note to ask the tutor what the proper way to eat at a castle is later. When she was heading out of the dining room, she saw Maid Macy in the royal library cleaning the books.
Britney decided she would go into the library to read instead going back to the garden. She asked Maid Macy had any book recommendations for her. Maid Macy grabbed a book called the Sunshine Beauty by F. Lien for her.
Maid Macy asked her if the book sounded good. Britney told her it sounded great to her. It was getting late so Britney took the book with her to bed. She read a little before she turned off her royal lamp.
Britney lay in the dark thinking about the busy day ahead of her. After a while, she drifted off to sleep. When she woke up, it was morning again. She got up to ring the bell to Maid Becca’s attention.
Instantly, Maid Becca came and dressed her. This time after Maid Becca dressed her, Britney had more time to talk to Maid Becca because Britney woke up a little earlier. Britney talked about her old home and it’s garden.
While Maid Becca told her about her pets and her books. Maid Becca also told her that she’d often go to the royal library. Britney showed her the Sunshine Beauty book. After a little while though, Britney had to get to the dining room.
As Britney headed to the dining room, Britney stopped by the royal library to see if Maid Macy was there. Britney didn’t see Maid Macy in there so she went on her way to the dining room. Surprisingly, she got to the dining room early.
Britney looked around the dining room and saw pictures of past Queens and Kings of England. Finally, it was 7:00 am and Queen Camilla walked in with King Camelot. The maids who ate breakfast with them walked in.
They were all surprised to see Princess Britney sitting in her chair looking around the dining room. Britney noticed the surprised looks on Queen Camilla, King Camelot, and the maids.
Britney explained that she hadn’t looked around in the dining room fully. Queen Camilla said, “I’m okay with that, Britney.” The king and maids agreed with Queen Camilla.
They all began to eat breakfast together and nothing was heard but eating sounds. After breakfast, she went to have a ruling lesson with the tutor. Before they started on the ruling lesson though, Britney remembered to ask what the proper way to eat at a castle.
The tutor said,” That question is a big question with a short answer. I have noticed they don’t wait for everyone to start eating and they eat quietly as a mouse.” So the tutor began the ruling lesson.
Britney learned what the proper way to wave and speak to crowds of people. After she left the tutor, she decided to go to the flower garden to read. Britney thought she should read out loud to the animals.
So she began to read out loud until she had to leave. The animals didn’t want Britney to go. Britney promised she’d bring food for them soon.
Britney went to her royal music lesson next in the music room. After she left the music room, she went directly to the library to check for Maid Macy. Britney saw Maid Macy in the library.
Britney immediately asked Maid Macy about seeing Maid Becca. Maid Macy said she’d seen Maid Becca several times in the library. After she left the library, she went to get some lunch because she was starving.
The lunch today was chip chicken and bacon wrapped pork. Britney was delighted to be treated with yummy delicacies. After lunch, she went to her dancing lesson. She practiced basic ballet moves.
After Britney was done in the ballroom, she went to the flower garden and like she promised she brought food with her. After she left the garden, she went to talk to Queen Camilla about singing lessons.
Queen Camilla told her that her singing was beautiful but it needed more tune to it. After Britney left the throne room, she went to her first singing lesson. She learned basic tips of singing a better tune and how to soothe her throat for singing.
After the singing lesson, Britney went to the royal gym to swim until dinner. At dinner, she began thinking about writing a story. After dinner, she went to her bedroom to take notes of her ideas.
After she finished her story ideas, she rang the bell for Maid Becca. Instantly, Maid Becca came. Britney asked Maid Becca if she knew any story starters.
Maid Becca said she did and told her the tips. After Maid Becca left, Britney started writing the first draft of a story. Shortly after she had finished writing her chapter, she sat in her bed reading.
After reading 2 chapters though, Britney felt tired so she turned off the lamp and went to sleep. When Britney woke up the next morning, something seemed wrong but she didn’t know what. So she rang the bell like she usually would have.
Maid Becca didn’t come so Britney looked in the maid book for how many rings would summon Maid Macy. The book said to do only 2 rings. Instantly, Maid Macy came in. Maid Macy dressed Britney quickly.
After Maid Macy dressed Britney, Britney asked where Maid Becca was. Maid Macy responded that Maid Becca wasn’t feeling good. Maid Macy and Britney walked to the dining room for breakfast.
When Queen Camilla came in, Maid Macy and Britney walked over to Queen Camilla to ask if they could announce that Maid Becca was sick. Queen Camilla said, “Alright.”
After Maid Macy and Britney announced that Maid Becca was sick, they ate and then they went to see Maid Becca. Maid Becca who had looked so cheerful last night looked pale and sad. Britney went to her singing lesson first that morning.
Britney sang with a bit of tune but she was too worried about Maid Becca. After her singing lesson, she went to see Maid Becca again.
The royal doctor reported that Maid Becca was expecting a baby. Britney raced to the maid headquarters to tell the maids.
The maids were impressed including Maid Macy. The maids and Britney went to tell King Camelot and Queen Camilla together. Queen Camilla seemed surprised and relieved when she heard the news.
King Camelot seemed anxious and excited. After the maids and Britney left the throne room, Britney went to her dance lesson. Britney danced her emotions out freely. Her tutor was amazed at how freely she danced when she let her emotions out.
The tutor asked Britney why it was so easy for her. Britney told the tutor about the news and the tutor was pleased. After Britney’s dancing lesson, she went to sing in the bird garden. Britney sang her emotions out.
The animals had gotten used to Britney leaving them. After Britney left the garden, she went to her music lesson. The tutor taught her a new tune on the ukulele and she did it perfectly.
After Britney was done with her music lesson, she went to see Maid Becca. Britney was delighted to see Maid Becca awake. Britney greeted her with a good morning and Maid Becca told her good morning in a quiet voice.
Maid Becca slowly fell asleep again and Britney left. Britney headed to her bedroom and she suspected something strange. Britney began writing the clues down. She got the answer for the question. The tutor was Maid Becca’s husband.
Britney left to talk to Queen Camilla. Britney told Queen Camilla what she’d discovered. Queen Camilla looked confused and asked for the tutor. Queen Camilla asked,” Is it true are you Maid Becca’s husband?” The tutor responded yes.
The tutor told Britney that she was a clever girl. After meeting with Queen Camilla, Britney went to see Maid Becca but this time the doctor was there. The doctor told Britney that the baby was almost fully grown and that the baby would come out on Thursday. Britney had the whole afternoon to do whatever she pleased.
Britney went to her room to work on her story. After Britney finished writing the 2nd chapter, dinner was ready. She walked into the dining room and ate dinner. After she ate dinner, she went back to her bedroom to write the 3rd chapter.
The third chapter Britney wrote was about a princess. After she finished her 3rd chapter, Britney went to the dining room to eat dinner. Britney told Queen Camilla about when Maid Becca’s baby was due to come.
Queen Camilla was amazed. The queen told Britney she could go visit Maid Becca anytime from that point on. After dinner, Britney went out to the flower garden to watch the sunset and pick flowers.
The flowers she picked were lavender, rose, lilies, daffodils, dandelions, and more flowers. After Britney was done picking flowers, she went to the royal craft room to spruce the flowers up.
After Britney finished sprucing the flowers up, she did a 3-second portrait in full color of the flowers. She went to Maid Becca to give her the flowers.
This time, Maid Becca was awake. So Britney asked, “Do you feel well enough to tell me about how you married the tutor? If the story is too long, you could just tell the story slowly. I could ask the tutor if you don’t feel well enough.”
Maid Becca said, “I think I feel well enough to tell you.” So Maid Becca told Britney about how the tutor and Maid Becca met. Maid Becca told her that they met in Greenland and how Maid Becca had worked as a gardener in the Kingdom of Luna.
After Maid Becca said she was too sleepy to continue the story, Britney headed to her room to work on her story. After she finished her 4th chapter, she got into her bed and read 3 chapters more of her book because she had more time tonight.
After Britney finished reading, she turned off the light and lay awake thinking how much excitement there had been Saturday. The next morning, Britney woke up the next morning and realized today was Sunday.
Britney found Queen Camilla was in the throne room so she went to the throne room to ask if she had almost the whole day off and whether she had to go to the church. “Yes you have almost all day off “, said Queen Camilla, “You do have church lessons in the royal library every Sunday. You could even pray for Becca”.
Britney told Queen Camilla that she would like to pray for Maid Becca. She went to her church lesson just after breakfast. The royal preacher read part of the Bible and then the royal preacher announced it was praying time.
Britney prayed for Maid Becca like she said she would. She also prayed for the tutor and the other maids. After the church lesson, she went to see Maid Becca. Once again, the royal doctor was there.
The royal doctor asked if Britney wanted to feel Maid Becca’s stomach. She said yes. Britney instantly put her hand on Maid Becca’s stomach and she felt a kick come from inside Maid Becca’s stomach.
Britney asked if that was the baby kicking Maid Becca’s stomach. The royal doctor chuckled and answered yes. Britney went to tell the ladies in waiting about the baby so they could tell Queen Camilla.
Queen Camilla was impressed by the update. After Britney left the throne room, she went to write another chapter of her book. Britney thought she was so lucky to get story tips from Maid Becca before they found out that Maid Becca was expecting a baby.
After Britney had finished writing 3 chapters of her book, she read a little bit of the book that Maid Macy had given her. After she finished reading, she realized she was hungry. So Britney went to look at the clock to see if it was close to lunch.
The clock said 12:15 pm and Britney knew that lunch was over. Luckily, she found Queen Camilla heading out of the dining room. Britney explained she had accidentally missed lunch.
Queen Camilla suggested Britney goes to the dining room to see if the food was still out. Surprisingly, the food was still out and almost everyone was still sitting. So Britney started eating lunch because she was starving.
Maid Macy told Britney that she’d received more news about Maid Becca’s baby while Britney ate her lunch. Maid Macy told her that the baby was to be a baby girl. After Maid Macy left, she ate quickly so she could go see Maid Becca.
As Britney walked into the door, she saw the doctor again. Britney asked what the doctor was doing and the doctor told her that she was helping examine the stomach to help guess how much the baby would weigh.
After Britney responded to the royal doctor, she left Maid Becca & the doctor and she went to the flower garden to think of how crazy her past week had been. She couldn’t believe that last week she was just at her cottage in her garden.
After Britney was in the flower garden, she went to have dinner with the royal family. After dinner, Britney went to see Maid Becca again. The royal doctor said the baby might come out on Tuesday which was earlier than expected.
After the royal doctor left, she talked to Maid Becca about how crazy her previous week had been. Maid Becca nodded to show she agreed about how crazy the previous week had been. After Britney left Maid Becca, she went to her room to write her next to the last chapter of the book she was writing.
Then Britney read a little more of the book she was reading. After Britney read, she went to tell Queen Camilla & King Camelot about the baby being born on Tuesday instead of Thursday.
When Britney told Queen Camilla and King Camelot, they were surprised and called Princess Lillian into the royal throne room. After Princess Lillian was told about the news, she also looked surprised.
Queen Camilla, King Camelot, and Princess Lillian suggested they try to find a good name for a baby girl just in case Maid Becca needed help choosing a name. “Can you check with the royal tutor and Maid Becca to see what Maid Becca’s plan is after she has her baby?” asked King Camelot.
Britney said, “I’d be glad to check with the royal tutor and Maid Becca to see what plan is after her baby is born.” So Britney went to find the royal tutor to see if he knew what Maid Becca’s plan was.
When Britney found him, she asked him if he knew Maid Becca’s plan. He responded that he knew. He told her that her plan was to still work as a part-time maid. Britney was relieved and then asked what his plan was.
The royal tutor told Britney that he was still going to be a full-time tutor for the royalties. Britney went to Queen Camilla to tell her about Maid Becca’s plan. Queen Camilla called Maid Macy into the royal throne room to tell her that she would be a part-time maid for Maid Becca.
After Britney left, she went to her room to sleep. She hardly could wait to see what was in store for Monday. On Monday morning, she woke up excited because the baby girl would be due Tuesday.
Britney called Maid Macy to help her get dressed and she went to see Maid Becca. The royal doctor was there again and the doctor told her she was in contractions.
Britney was concerned but she went to go get Queen Camilla and King Camelot. Britney urged Maid Becca to push a little for a few minutes. After she left, she went to eat breakfast.
Britney went out to the bird garden to sing to help her feel better. She also went to read and write in her room before lunch. She had herbal chicken nuggets with curly fries, waffle fries, and smiley face fries for lunch.
Britney was glad to have something yummy to eat on such an important day. After she finished her yummy meal, she went to talk to Queen Camilla. After she’d talked to Queen Camilla, she went to find Maid Macy to talk to her.
Britney and Maid Macy talked until dinner time. At dinner, she wondered how Maid Becca was doing. After dinner, she went to see Maid Becca. She asked the doctor how Maid Becca was doing.
The royal doctor told Britney that Maid Becca was okay. After the visit to Maid Becca, she decided to go to bed a little early so she could be awake in case the baby came in the morning.
Of course, Britney still wrote her story and read a little in bed before going to sleep. On Tuesday morning, she quickly rang the bell to tell Maid Macy to dress her. After she dressed, she went to see Maid Becca.
Britney could already see the baby’s feet sticking out. She asked the royal doctor if she had time to devour her breakfast and share the news to Queen Camilla and King Camelot.
The royal doctor told her that Britney had enough time to eat her breakfast and tell Queen Camilla. So she went by Queen Camilla’s royal throne room to share the news.
Britney told Queen Camilla to pass the news to King Camelot and the other royalty. So she went to eat a waffle topped with fruit on it for breakfast and hurried back to the royal nursery room where everyone was quietly watching.
Soon, Britney could see the baby’s belly. Shortly after, she could see the head. Once the baby was out, the royal doctor wrapped it in a special blanket. The royal doctor let Maid Becca holds the baby. Maid Becca declared the name to be Katie.
The royal tutor was relieved to see the baby girl. So as the year went by, Princess Lillian grew into a wise 10-year-old child. Meanwhile, Katie grew and talked as well as walked by the time the year was over.
As for Britney, she resumed her studying and lessons. Britney still found time to read, sing, write, and walk in the gardens. As promised, Maid Becca returned to her maid duty for the half time maid job.
As 8 more years passed, everything was normal. Katie was a talented 9 year old at the time. Queen Camilla and King Camelot talked about getting Princess Lillian ready to rule.
Britney was finally ready for her final test as a temporary princess. After Britney succeeded, Queen Camilla and King Camelot had a surprise for Britney.
The surprise was a plane ticket to take Britney to see her parents in America and to see her friends in Hawaii. Britney was excited but she asked if she could still come visit. Queen Camilla and King Camelot said, “Yes, you may.”
Of course, Britney went home to her beautiful cottage for a few days first before her trip. After 3 days past, she went flew on a special plane to America to see her parents. She was excited.
Britney recognized her parents immediately as she stepped outside the airport. Her parents ran over and said, “Wow, Britney. You have gotten tall and have grown up.” So she explained how she got to America.
Britney stayed for a few days to know how life was in America. She left America by boat to travel to Hawaii. She immediately recognized her friends the moment she stepped off the boat.
Britney’s friends ran over to Britney and said, “Wow, you look amazing, Britney! It’s so great to see you again!” So Britney stayed a little while to see what life was like in Hawaii. Soon she had to go back home though.
Britney hoped to see her parents and friends again soon. Many years later, her friends and parents came to visit her. They had the most fun together before heading back to the United States of America.
A few years later, Britney met a man named Mark and fell in love. They married 9 years later. After that, she had 3 babies. Their names were Heidi, Abby, and Sierra. They all lived happily ever after.
Hi there! My mother, Camilla suggested that I write a series of posts about birds on my blog since I’ve been talking about them and learning about them. Please let me know if you have any bird books, CDs, or a website you’d recommend! Here is the part about American Tree Sparrows.
American Tree Sparrows are small, round-headed birds that often fluff out their feathers, making their plump bodies look even chubbier. Like other sparrows, they have fairly small bills and long, thin tails. Their color pattern is a rusty cap and rusty (not black) eyeline on a gray head, a streaked brown back, and a smooth gray to buff breast in both male and female American Tree Sparrows give an overall impression of reddish-brown and gray. A dark smudge in the center of the unstreaked breast is common.
Small flocks of American Tree Sparrows hop about on the ground, scrabbling for grass and weed seeds, calling back and forth with a soft, musical twitter that might make you twitter, sing, or dance. A single American Tree Sparrow may perch in the open top of goldenrod stalks or shrubs, or on low tree branches. Look for small flocks of American Tree Sparrows in the winter in weedy fields with hedgerows or shrubs, along forest edges, or near marshes except for Reno, NV. They readily visit backyards, especially if there’s a seed feeder.
American Tree Sparrows breed in the far north and are hardly seen south of northern Canada in the summer. 4-6, usually 5. Pale bluish or greenish, with brownish spotting often concentrated at larger end. Incubation is by female, 11-13 days; male visits nest often, but does not incubate. Young: Both parents feed nestlings. Young leave nest at age 8-10 days, when flight feathers not yet fully grown.
Parents may lure them away from nest by offering food. Young are able to fly at about 14-15 days after hatching; parents continue to feed them for about 2 more weeks. 1 brood per season, but may attempt to renest if 1st attempt fails. Diet in the winter is almost entirely seeds, from grasses, weeds, and other plants; also a few insects and berries.
In the summer, they eat mostly insects and other small invertebrates, plus a few seeds. Young are fed mostly insects. Pairs form shortly after birds arrive on breeding grounds. Male actively defends territory, chasing away other members of same species.
Nest site is on or near ground, in grass clumps beneath shrubs. Sometimes on hummock in open tundra; rarely up to 4′ above ground in willow or spruce. Nest is an open cup of twigs, grasses, moss, lined with fine grass and with feathers (usually ptarmigan feathers). Female builds nest in about 7 days.
All wintering areas are well to the south of breeding areas. Migrates relatively late in fall and early in spring. Apparently, migrates mainly at night. On average, females winter somewhat farther south than males.
The American Tree Sparrow is a small sparrow with a long notched tail. The adult has a streaked back and wings, with two white wing bars, but is otherwise unstreaked, while the juvenile is streaky overall. Adults have an unstreaked gray-brown breast and belly, with a dark spot in the center. The tail, rump, and nape of the neck are all solid gray.
The upper mandible of the bill is dark and the lower is yellow. The head is mostly gray, with a rufous crown and eye-line. American tree sparrows (Spizella arborea) breed throughout almost all of Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest territories, the very north of Manitoba and Ontario, all of Labrador, and in northern Quebec. Their winter range includes a very small part of southern Canada and all of the United States except for the western most 250 miles, the southern most 450 miles and all of Florida.
American tree sparrows usually breed near the tree line in open scrubby areas with willows, birches, alder thickets or stunted spruce. They may also breed in open tundra with scattered shrubs, often near lakes or bogs. They spend the winter in open forests, gardens, fields, and marshes. Baumgartner followed birds for the first 22 days of development.
Order of hatching was not dependent on the order of laying. Earlier hatched birds took the lead in development. During the nine and one-half days in the nest, the four feather tracts of the birds (dorsal, ventral, alar, caudal) go from completely bare to the back covered, lower belly slightly bare, wings 2/3 grown, and tail still a stub, and the birds grow from 1.62 gm to 16.7 gm, while their length goes from 33 mm to 75 mm during the same period. They lose 1.5 gm the first day out of the egg but have gained 3 gm by day 21 (Baumgartner, 1968).
On the second day after hatching the young were able to stretch for food. On the fourth day their eyes were half open, after the fifth day, wide open. The first sounds were made on the fifth day but were very soft. Fear was acquired between 7.5 and 8 days as demonstrated by their raucous calls when touched by humans.
During the first 12 days of the fledgling period (which lasts until about a month after leaving the nest in (Spizella arborea) the birds showed a steady increase in both tail length (14-47mm) and wing length (46-68mm). At the end of the first 21 days the wings were still slightly shorter and the tails about 2/3 the length of mature birds. A tree sparrow was observed to fly 30 or 40 ft fifteen days after hatching, and a little before one month after hatching, the birds could fly all around their territory. American tree sparrows are monogamous (one male mates with one female).
Males and females form breeding pairs after they arrive at the breeding sites in the spring. Both males and female sing to attract a mate. Females become excited when males come to sing nearby. They call back to the male, making a “wehy” sound.
Males may show off for females by spreading their wings and fluttering them or darting to the ground in front of the female, then flying back up to a perch. American tree sparrows breed between May and September. They raise one brood of chicks each year. The females builds the nest alone.
The nests are built on the ground out of moss, grasses, bark and twigs. They are lined with fine grass and feathers.The female then lays about 5 eggs. She lays one egg each day.
She incubates the eggs for 10 to 14 days and broods the chicks after they hatch. The chicks are altricial (helpless) when they hatch, so they rely on the female to protect them and keep them warm. Both parents feed the chicks until 2 to 3 weeks after the chicks leave the nest (called fledging). The young fledge from the nest about 9 days after hatching.
In late summer, the families join larger flocks. We do not know when young American tree sparrows begin breeding.
American tree sparrows breed once per year. Females incubate the eggs and brood the chicks after they hatch.
Both parents feed the chicks until they are about 22 days old. The oldest known American tree sparrow lived at least 10 years and 9 months. Most American tree sparrows probably live about 2.3 to 3.4 years. American tree sparrows are migratory.
Though they are usually active during the day (called diurnal), they migrate at night. American tree sparrows are territorial during the breeding season. Males sing to claim territories and they defend their territories from others. Females occasionally chase intruders too.
American tree sparrows do not defend winter territories. During the winter, they form large flocks that forage together. Within these flocks, some birds are dominant over other birds. American tree sparrows move by hopping on the ground and on branches, and by flying.
They do not swim or dive, but they do bath frequently. They roost alone trees or shrubs, haystacks, cornfields, and marshes. In the winter, they might take shelter together under the snow. American tree sparrows are omnivorous; they eat many different seeds, berries and insects.
During the winter, American tree sparrows mainly eat grass and weed seeds. During the summer, they mostly eat insects and spiders. American tree sparrows search for food among plants on the ground and the branches and twigs of shrubs and trees. In Massachusetts, they are often seen in flocks, feeding at bird feeders.
American tree sparrows need to drink a lot of water each day. During the winter, they eat snow in order to get enough water. Known predators of American tree sparrows include northern goshawks, sharp-shinned hawks, screech owls, pygmy owls, Cooper’s hawks, American kestrels, weasels, foxes, and red squirrels. When approached by humans, American tree sparrows give a rapid series of “tset” calls.
It is unknown how American tree sparrows respond to other potential predators. American tree sparrows are very important members of the food chain. They eat many weed seeds and insects and spiders, and they are an important food source for their predators.
Hi there! My mother, Camilla, suggested that I write a series of posts about birds on my blog since I’ve been talking about them and learning about them. Please let me know if you have any bird books, CDs, or a website you’d recommend! Here is the part about California Quail.
California Quail are plump, short-necked game birds with a small head and bill. They fly on short, very broad wings. The tail is fairly long and square. Both sexes have a comma-shaped topknot of feathers projecting forward from the forehead, longer in males than females. Adult males are rich gray and brown, with a black face outlined with bold white stripes. Females are a plainer brown and lack the facial markings. Both genders have a pattern of white, creamy, and chestnut scales on the belly. Young birds look like females but have a shorter topknot.
California Quail spend most of their time on the ground, walking and scratching in search of food. In morning and evening they forage beneath shrubs or on open ground near cover. They usually travel in groups called coveys. Their flight is explosive but lasts just long enough to reach cover.
You’ll find California Quail in chaparral, sagebrush, oak woodlands, and foothill forests of California and the Northwest. They’re quite tolerant of people and can be common in city parks, suburban gardens, and agricultural areas. The California quail is a small, plump bird with a short black beak. The male has a gray chest and brown back and wings. It has a black throat with white stripes and a brown cap on its head. The female has a gray or brown head and back and a lighter speckled chest and belly. Both the male and the female have a curved black crown feather on their foreheads. The male’s crown feather is larger than the female’s.
The California quail is sometimes called the valley quail. The California quail eats seeds, plant parts like buds and sometimes insects. They feed in flocks in the early morning. The California quail can be found from southern Oregon to southern California and east into Nevada. The California quail lives in grasslands, foothills, woodlands, canyons and at the edge of deserts. It likes areas with lots of brush. The California quail lives in coveys of 10 to 200 birds in the winter.
They will stay in these flocks until they pair off during mating season. Male California quails will perch on a tree or post and call out to claim their territory. The California quail will roost in trees to avoid danger and to rest. Males often compete for a mate. They will mate with only one female. Females usually lay between 12-16 cream and brown speckled eggs. Their nest is a shallow hollow or scrape in the ground that is lined with grass. The female incubates the eggs for about three weeks. Both parents will care for the chicks. The chicks leave the nest shortly after birth. They make their first attempts at flight when they are about 10 days old. They will stay on the ground for about a month and then will roost in trees with the rest of the flock.
The female usually has one brood a year. This sharply-marked bird with the curving topknot is common along the California coast and in a few other areas of the west. It has adapted rather well to the increasing human population, and is often found around well-wooded suburbs and even large city parks. California Quail live in coveys at most seasons, and are often seen strutting across clearings, nodding their heads at each step. If disturbed, they may burst into fast low flight on whirring wings.
The California Quail is a gray, ground-dwelling bird, more slender than most other quail. It has a light breast with scaled patterning, white streaks along brown sides, and black and gray scaling on the nape of the neck. The female has a tan head with a small feather plume. The male has a bold black face outlined in white, with a brown crown and a pendulous feather plume hanging forward from his forehead.
The California quail, California’s state bird, is a 9-11 inch hen-like bird with a distinctive teardrop-shaped head plume called a top-knot. Their plump bodies vary from grayish to brown with scaly markings on the lower breast and abdomen. Males are particularly elegant with a black throat, chestnut patch on the belly, a bluish gray breast, white speckles on its flanks, and a white stripe on the forehead and around the neckline. Females have a smaller top-knot and lack the male’s distinctive facial markings and black throat.
Her crest is dark brown and her body is brown or gray with white speckles on the chest and belly. The marked sexual dimorphism is believed to play an important part in breeding displays. Juveniles resemble the female, but have shorter and lighter colored crests. As ground dwelling birds, their short and powerful legs are well adapted for terrestrial locomotion. They can fly rapidly, but only for short distances. When alarmed they prefer to run, flying only as a last resort.
California quail are best adapted to semiarid environments, ranging from sea level to 4000 feet and occasionally up to 8500 feet or higher (Sumner 1935). As long as there is abundant food, ground cover, and a dependable water source, quail are able to live in a variety of habitats including open woodlands, brushy foothills, desert washes, forest edge, chaparral, stream valleys, agricultural lands, and suburb areas. Cover is needed for roosting, resting, nesting, escaping from predators, and for protection from the weather (Sumner 1935, Leopold 1977).
Leopold (1977) separates California quail habitat areas into four major ecological zones arid ranges mostly in Southern California and Baja California, transitional ranges in the Sacramento Valley, humid forest ranges associated with the Coast and Cascade ranges, and interior Great Basin and Columbia Basin ranges. Of these the transitional ranges in the Sacramento Valley foothills provide the most stable quail habitat, characterized by mild winters, moderate rainfall, moderately dense ground vegetation, and generally adequate ground cover.
California quail are generalists and opportunists, so food intake varies by location and season. Their main food items are seeds produced by various species of broad-leafed annual plants, especially legumes. This includes plants such as lupine (Lupinus sp.), clover (Trifolium sp.), bur clover (Medicago sp.), and deer vetches (Lotus sp.) (Leopold 1977). Their bills are typical for seedeaters: serrated, short, stout, and slightly decurved.
Shields and Duncan (1966) studied California quail diet in the fall and winter during a dry year on the San Joaquin Experimental Range in the central Sierra Nevada foothills. They found that seeds comprised 82% of their diet, while green leafage contributed 18%. Duncan (1968) also studied quail diet in the same area and found that legume seeds were their most important food item. Quail also eat leafy materials, acorns, fruits and berries, crop residues, and some insects (Leopold 1977).
During the fall and winter, California quail are highly gregarious birds, gathering into groups, called coveys. In most situations, covey size averages about 50 birds, but under intensive management and protection, coveys can get as large as 1000 birds (Leopold 1977). In the covey, the quail tend to imitate one another and exhibit cooperative behavior. For example, when one bird finds a good supply of food it often calls the others to it. Likewise, when a member of the covey perceives danger it will warn the group with the appropriate call (Sumner 1935).
California quail communicate with 14 different calls (Leopold, 1977). This includes courtship, re-grouping, feeding, and warning calls. The most frequently heard location call has been described as “cu-ca-cow” or “chi-ca-go.” At the start of nesting season in early spring the coveys break up, as quail pairs spread themselves out into different habitat areas to nest and rear their young.
At the end of summer each new quail family rejoins the others to form a new covey where they will remain until the next breeding season. Emlen (1939) observed this seasonal movement in his study of California quail on a 760-acre farm in the vicinity of Davis, California. In the winter, four coveys, containing 21-46 birds, had home ranges of 17-45 acres, roughly one acre for each bird. The covey locations and range size depended on the amount of brush cover available. The four territories were separated by 350 yards to half a mile and contact between the coveys was infrequent.
The members of a covey tended to feed and roost together in mid-winter, but occasionally they broke up into smaller units. Winter movements were restricted with only 5 to 10 acres of an entire territory utilized by the covey on any one day. The same area would serve as a feeding ground for a few days to two or three weeks when the birds would move to another part of their territory. The California quail is common to states of the Pacific coast. They were first introduced into Utah in 1869.
Hi there! I decided to do thunderstorms for my weekly research and I thought that this time of year would be perfect. I’d like to thank my mother Camilla for making this possible.
A thunderstorm is a storm with lightning and thunder. It is produced by a cumulonimbus cloud, usually producing gusty winds, heavy rain and sometimes hail but not always in the Western USA. The basic ingredients used to make a thunderstorm are moisture, unstable air and lift.
The earth needs moisture to form clouds and rain. You need unstable air that is relatively warm and can rise rapidly. Finally, you need lift.
The lift can form from fronts, sea breezes or mountains. Thunderstorms can occur year-round and at all hours. But they are most likely to happen in the spring and summer months and during the afternoon and evening hours.
Some people estimated that there are around 1,800 thunderstorms that occur across our planet every day. All thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes.
Thunder is the sound caused by lightning. The intense heat from lightning causes the surrounding air to rapidly expand and create a sonic wave that you hear as thunder. The average temperature of lightning is around 20000°C (36000°F).
The sound of thunder can be anything from a loud crack to a low rumble. Light travels faster than sound so we see lightning before we hear thunder. The closer you live, the shorter the gap between the lightning and thunder.
The speed of sound is around 767 miles per hour (1,230 kilometres per hour). The speed of light is around 669600000 miles per hour (1080000000 kilometres per hour). Thunder is difficult to hear at distances over 12 miles (20 kilometres).
Thousands of years ago, philosophers such as Aristotle believed that thunder was caused by the collision of clouds. Astraphobia is the fear of thunder and lightning. The Oklahoma basketball team that play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) are called the Thunder.
I help to support my family with my writings. I share my writings for free for the benefit of others. If you benefit from this writing, would you like to toss a tip in the love offering “bucket”? Oceans of gratitude … xoxo
Hi there! Camilla decided that I write a blogpost on whatever I like once a week. You’re about to enter a princess’s life at her birth.
There once lived Queen Lilliana and King Topaz who yearned to have a child (specifically a daughter). One day later, the Queen had a baby girl and the King and the Queen were very happy. They had a christening/baby shower/ party and everyone in the kingdom came.
Everyone watched the queen name the baby. The queen had selected Melody as her name. When Melody was one year old, she talked like a princess should.
She was 3, when she learned to walk like a princess. She was 5 when she was crowned. She began to study at age 7. She got a new bed at 9 years old.
She started washing her hair at 11 years old. She started brushing her hair at 13 years old. She started getting dressed at age 15. She then started liking young princes at school during her 16th year.
She started getting boyfriends in her 17th year. She started dates with boys in her 18th year. She found the perfect boy to marry in her 19th year. She planned the wedding in her 20th year.
She got married in her 21st year. She had babies in her 22nd year. In the 23rd year, she went to work.
In her 24th year, her husband died. In her 25th year, she became ill. In her 26th year, she died but her parents still remember her.
So to remember her, they built a statue, made a speech, a museum, some art, some pictures and some books. Her parents died shortly after all that was done. Her children took place of the throne.
Nobody forgot her. So when they died, they joined her so she didn’t get lonely.
There’s a lesson and the lesson is you should always honor someone after they die especially if that person is special.
Hi there! My mother, Camilla suggested that I write a series of posts about birds on my blog since I’ve been talking about them and learning about them. Please let me know if you have any bird books, CDs, or a website you’d recommend! Here is the part about Mountain Blue Birds.
Mountain Bluebirds are moderately small thrushes with round heads and straight, thin bills. Compared with other bluebirds they are slender and long-winged, with a long tail. Male Mountain Bluebirds are sky-blue, a little bit darker on the wings and the tail and a little bit paler on the belly, with white up under the tail. Females are pretty much gray-brown with tints of pale blue in the wings and the tail.
They occasionally show orange-brown throughout the chest. Mountain Bluebirds’ bills are completely black. Younger Mountain Bluebirds have fewer spots than the other young of little bluebirds. Unlike other bluebird species, Mountain Bluebirds often hover while foraging; they also pounce on their insect prey from an higher perch.
In the winter, the species often occur in large flocks wandering the landscape eating on berries, particularly some of those junipers. Mountain Bluebirds are mostly common in the West’s wide-open spaces, particularly at middle and higher elevations like mountains. They breed in native habitats such as prairie, sagebrush steppe, and even alpine tundra; anywhere with open country with at least a few trees that can provide nest cavities. They also readily take to human-altered habitats, often nesting in bluebird boxes and foraging in pastures.
The powder-blue male Mountain Bluebird is among the most beautiful birds of the West. Living in more open terrain than the other two bluebirds, this species may nest in holes in cliffs or dirt banks when tree hollows are not available. It often seeks its food by hovering low over the grass in open fields. They lay 5 to 6 eggs, sometimes 4 to 8 eggs.
Pale blue, unmarked (occasionally white) are their colors. Incubation is by female for about 13 to 17 days. Young birds: Both parents feed nestlings. Young birds leave the nest about 17 to 23 days after hatching, and are protected by their parents for another 3 to 4 weeks.
They have 2 breeds each year. Mountain Bluebirds feed heavily on insects, including beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars, crickets, ants, bees, and others. They also eat some berries, including those of mistletoe, hackberry, and other plants. Berries are very important in their diet in the wintertime.
Sometimes interbreeds with the Eastern Bluebird where their ranges overlap. Nest: Apparently the female selects the site for the nest. The site is in a cavity, usually a natural hollow or old woodpecker hole in tree, or in a birdhouse. Sometimes nests in holes in dirt banks, crevices in cliffs or among rocks, holes in sides of buildings, old nests of other birds (such as Cliff Swallow or Dipper).
Nest in cavity (probably built by both genders) is a loose cup of weed stems, grass, twigs, rootlets, pine needles, and maybe even lined with animal hair or animal feathers. Mountain bluebirds migrate relatively late in the fall and early in the spring. Winter range varies from year to year, depending on the food supplies. Flocks sometimes wander east on the Great Plains, and lonely stray birds occasionally go as far as the Atlantic Coast.
The mountain bluebird is six to seven inches in length. The mountain bluebird breeds from east-central Alaska, southern Yukon and western Manitoba, south in the mountains to southern California, central and southeastern Nevada, northern and east-central Arizona, southern New Mexico and east to northeastern North Dakota, western South Dakota and central Oklahoma. In winters, the birds go from Oregon south to Baja California, Mexico and southern Texas, and east to eastern Kansas, western Oklahoma and central Texas. The males or females arrive at the breeding site first.
The mountain bluebird breeds in high mountain meadows with scattered trees and bushes and short grass. In winters, they live at lower elevations in plains and grasslands. The lovely mountain bluebird (Sialia arctcia) was made the official state bird of Idaho in 1931. The male mountain bluebird is a brilliant sky-blue, the female is gray with blue on her wings and tail.
The bluebird family is especially common in Idaho’s mountains. Idaho recognizes two bird symbols; the peregrine falcon is the official state raptor. The mountain bluebird is currently the state bird of Nevada. The Mountain Bluebird has a large range, estimated globally at 4,400,000 square kilometers.
Native to Canada, the United States, and Mexico, the mountain bluebirds prefer grassland, forest, and shrubland ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 5,200,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Mountain Bluebird is Least Concern. The Mountain Bluebird is most likely to be confused with other bluebirds.
Male Mountain Bluebirds lack any reddish coloration on their underparts unlike Eastern and Western Bluebirds. Females are more difficult to separate. Eastern Bluebirds have a brownish throat and white belly while Mountain Bluebirds have gray throats and bellies. Western Bluebirds are browner on the breast than Mountain Bluebirds and have thicker bills.
Male Mountain Bluebirds might be confused with other all blue birds like Indigo Buntings and Blue Grosbeaks but these birds have much thicker, conical bills.