• Simon O'Donovan

Birds - 'World Migratory Birds Day' 11th May

“Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?”

Nature historian David Attenborough

The theme for this week's Cognitive Stimulation Therapy activities page is 'Birds'. The reason we are discussing our feathered friends is because it is 'World Migratory Birds Day' on 11th May. 2018 marked the centenary of the 'Migratory Bird Treaty Act', which is apparently the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed. In honour of this milestone, nature lovers around the world joined forces to celebrate the '2018 - Year of the Bird' and commit to protecting birds now and for the next hundred years.


Who likes or dislikes birds and what are their reasons? Does anyone bird watch? Does anyone feed birds, using a bird table or feeder? Does anyone have birds nesting in their garden? Has anyone visited a bird sanctuary, like 'Slimbridge'? Has anyone seen a rare bird, and if so where? Does anyone have a favourite bird, and if so why? Can anyone make the sound of a bird, e.g. an owl using their cupped hands?

IDIOMS Ask members to complete the following idioms about birds, giving clues where necessary as provided in brackets. As dead as a DODO (extinct) A bird in the hand is worth two in the BUSH (be content with what you have) As proud as a PEACOCK (a vain or self centred person) The early bird catches the WORM (gain advantage by taking early action) SWAN song (farewell performance) Night OWL (late to bed) Wild goose CHASE (foolish and hopeless search) What's good for the goose is good for the GANDER (what a man can have, so can a woman) Kill the goose that lays the GOLDEN EGG (unprofitable action motivated by greed) Goose BUMPS (fearful response) Ugly DUCKLING (a person who turns out to be beautiful or talented against all the expectations) Like water off a duck's BACK (unheeded warning) Like a duck to WATER (a natural ability to do something when you try it for the first time) Lovely weather for DUCKS (wet weather) Don't count your chickens before they HATCH (don't necessarily expect a good outcome) Chicken OUT (decide not to do something out of fear) Chicken and egg SITUATION (impossible to say which existed first) Keep somebody under your WING (take care of an inexperienced or junior person) Spread your WINGS (expand your horizons and take opportunities) Pecking ORDER (place within a hierarchy) Lame DUCK (ineffectual person) Kill two birds with one STONE (achieve two aims at once) Fly the COOP (make your escape) Empty NEST syndrome (children have left the house) Eagle EYE (very observant) Bird's eye VIEW (looking down on something) Birds and the BEES (procreation) As free as a BIRD (no worries or troubles) Cockney SPARROW (born in the East End of London) Stone the CROWS (an exclamation of surprise) Parrot FASHION (without thought or meaning) Birds of a feather FLOCK TOGETHER (people with the same tastes and interests tend to group together) Mother HEN (a person who sees to the needs of others, usually in a fussy or interfering way) HEN pecked (a man who is browbeaten or under the thumb of his female partner) As wise as an OWL (a silent, solitary bird which hunts at night-time was associated with lunar gods, which were in turn associated with wisdom and intelligence)

One swallow does not a - SUMMER MAKE

Feathered FRIENDS (birds)

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE QUIZ Who is the Patron Saint of birds? - SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISSI What is a bird watcher is called? - TWITCHER Famous TWITCHERS include - BILL ODDIE, DAMON ALBURN, DAVID BAILEY, RORY MCGRATH, ALISON STEADMAN, PAUL MCCARTNEY, KENNETH CLARKE, GUY GARVEY, IOLO WILLIAMS & PRINCE PHILIP A collection of live birds is kept in what? AVIARY Which bird is pink and stands on one leg? - FLAMINGO (they are pink because they eat shrimp) Which bird is said to bury it's head in the sand? - OSTRICH Which bird is an American emblem? - BALD EAGLE Which bird has the largest wingspan? - ALBATROSS What is the smallest bird in the UK? - WREN Which bird is a symbol of peace? - DOVE What is the only bird that can fly backwards? - HUMMING BIRD Book publishers named after a bird? - PUFFIN BOOKS OR PENGUIN BOOKS Which whisky is named after a bird? - FAMOUS GROUSE Which bird advertised Guiness? - TOUCAN Which bird is also the name of a European country? - TURKEY Which bird provides (part of) the name of a Welsh city by the sea? - SWANSEA What would you call a pair of tight Australian swimming bathers? - BUDGIE SMUGGLERS What fish does a Budgie grind it's teeth on and eat as a supplement? - CUTTLEFISH Which computer game involves multicoloured birds saving their eggs from green pigs? - ANGRY BIRDS The comedian Rod Hull's bird was called what? - EMU (does anyone remember the assault on Michael Parkinson?) Which bird is the logo for Cardiff City Football Club? - SWALLOW (their nickname is THE BLUEBIRDS) Birds with colours in their names? - Blue TIT - Red KITE - Gold FINCH - Green FINCH - Black BIRD - Pink FLAMINGO - Yellow CANARY What is a flock of starlings flying in close formation patterns called? - MURMURATION What is feared will happen if the Ravens leave the Tower Of London? - MONARCHY WILL COLLAPSE Who owns all Mute Swans in the UK? - HM QUEEN ELIZABETH 11 Name some birds of prey? - Vulture - Buzzard - Hawk - Eagle - Kestrel - Owl What was the name of Harry Potter's owl? - HEDWIG Which Indian beer is named after a colourful bird? - KINGFISHER Which exotic flower is associated with a bird? - BIRD OF PARADISE Which bird would you have taken down the coal mine to prove the air was fit to breathe? - CANARY What was the oversized yellow chicken on Sesame Street called? - BIG BIRD In the nursery rhyme, how many Blackbirds were baked in the pie? - FOUR AND TWENTY In the nursery rhyme 'Polly Put The Kettle On', who took it off again? - SUKI Name the dinosaur that flew? - PTERADACTYL Which bird rose again from the ashes? - PHOENIX Which bird advertised BT (voiced by Bernard Cribbins)? - BUSBY Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the world land speed record in 1928 in a car named what? - BLUEBIRD (Pendine Sands) Which bird gave Fleetwood Mac an instrumental hit? - ALBATROSS What is the smallest flightless bird in the world? - KIWI (also a fruit) Which architect designed St Paul's Cathedral? - CHRISTOPHER WREN Which steam locomotive named after a waterbird broke the land speed record in 1938 (126mph)? - THE MALLARD What is the name of Steve Coogan's comedy alter ego? - ALAN PARTRIDGE What is the alternative name for the Castle in a game of chess? - ROOK Which pedestrian crossing is named after a bird? - PELICAN Which bird did the fictional Treasure Island pirate Long John Silver carry on his shoulder? - PARROT (CAPTAIN FLINT) How did Pigeons help win the Second World War? - THEY CARRIED MESSAGES TO THE FRONT LINE

Optional... (proceed with caution!) Complete the phrase ... "I'm not a pheasant plucker ..." (without swearing) A chocolate biscuit named after a bird? - PENGUIN A bar of soap named after a bird? - DOVE In golf, what is one under par called? - BIRDIE Two under par is what? - EAGLE A margarine named after a bird? - STORK (also said to deliver a BABY) The name of Keith Harris' bird? - ORVILLE What was the name of Howard Hughes' seaplane? - SPRUCE GOOSE First words spoken by Neil Armstrong when coming to rest on the moon? - THE EAGLE HAS LANDED The type of parrot in the Monty Python 'Dead Parrot Sketch'? - NORWEGIAN BLUE What was the name of Batman's sidekick? - ROBIN And his arch enemy, also named after a bird? - PENGUIN What was the name of the bird that sang in Berkeley Square? - A NIGHTINGALE

FILM AND LITERATURE Which children's cartoon character sang 'Catch That Pigeon'? - DICK DASTARDLY & MUTLEY (Can anyone do the Mutley laugh?) What bird was the Looney Tunes character Wile, E Coyote always chasing? - ROAD RUNNER ("Meep Meep") Which 1969 film directed by Ken Loach was about a boy raising a bird of prey? - KES The 1975 film 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' starred which actor? - JACK NICHOLSON Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 film 'The Birds' starred which actress? - TIPPI HEDREN The 1941 black and white thriller about a statue of a bird starring Humphrey Bogard was called what? - THE MALTESE FALCON The 1968 war film set in the Bavarian Alps, starring Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton was called what? - WHERE EAGLES DARE Who was the actor that starred as 'Mrs Doubtfire' in the 1994 comedy film? - ROBIN WILLIAMS Robin Williams also starred in the 1996 remake of the 1970s French comedy about a gay nightclub in Nice, 'La Cage Aux Folles'. What was it's English name? - THE BIRDCAGE What was the name of the character played by Jodie Foster in 1991 thriller 'The Silence Of The Lambs'? - CLARICE STARLING What was Hans Solo's space ship in the 1977 film 'Star Wars' called? - MILLENNIUM FALCON The 1970s TV comedy drama series 'Robin's Nest' starred which actors? - PAULA WILCOX, RICHARD O'SULLIVAN & SALLY THOMPSON The 1970s TV comedy series 'The Liver Birds' starred which actresses? - NERYS HUGHES & POLLY JAMES The 1980s TV sitcom 'Birds Of A Feather' starred whom? - PAULINE QUIRK (SHARON), LINDA ROBSON (TRACEY) & LESLEY JOSEPH (DORIAN) 'Jonathan Livingstone Seagull' was written by? - RICHARD BACH 'Swallows And Amazons' was written by? - ARTHUR RANSOME 'The Lark Ascending' was composed by? - RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS 'Swan Lake' was composed by? - PETER ILYCH TCHAIKOVSKY 'On Hearing The First Cuckoo in Spring' was composed by? - FREDERICK DELIUS

MUSIC ROUND Spotify Playlist Link here 1. Mr Tambourine Man - The Byrds (We suggest members are given tambourines to play along with this song) Ask members to name some of the birds that were mentioned in the quiz. List as many as can be remembered. 2. Daydream Believer - The Monkees

Name the members?


What was The Monkees only UK number 1 in 1967?


3. Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd What was Lynyrd Skynyrd's other top 40 UK hit? SWEET HOME ALABAMA (The band was involved in a plane crash in 1977 and three band members died, which put an abrupt end to the 1970's era of the band.) 4. Songbird - Fleetwood Mac Which best selling album does this song appear on? RUMOURS (Top 40 UK hits from the 1978 Grammy award winning album included 'Go Your Own Way', 'Don't Stop', 'Dreams' & 'You Make Loving Fun'.) (It sold 40 million copies worldwide.) 5. Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep - Middle Of The Road Which social media platform is associated with a blue bird? TWITTER 6. Feed The Birds (Tuppence A Bag) - Julie Andrews What character was Julie Andrews singing this song as? MARY POPPINS Who co-starred in this movie with her? DICK VAN DYKE 7. I Taut I Taw A PuddyCat - Mel Blanc Name the bird and the cat? TWEETY PIE & SYLVESTER 8. Magpie - The Mugratroyd Band Sing along. One for - SORROW Two for - JOY Three for - A GIRL Four for - A BOY Five for - SILVER Six for - GOLD Seven for - A SECRET NEVER TO BE TOLD Eight's a - WISH Nine's a - KISS Ten is a bird - YOU MUST NOT MISS (Does anyone salute a Magpie for good luck?) 9. Blackbird - The Beatles Can members name any birds which are mainly black in colour? BLACKBIRD, CROW, RAVEN, STARLING, MAGPIE, COAL TIT 10. Ugly Duckling - Danny Kaye Which 1952 Disney movie does this song come from? HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSON (Other Hans Christian Andersen stories include 'The Princess And The Pea', 'The Emperor's New Clothes', 'The Red Shoes' & 'The Ice Maiden') 11. Mockingbird - James Taylor & Carly Simon Who wrote the novel 'To Kill A Mockingbird'? HARPER LEE The 1962 film 'To Kill A Mocking Bird' starred which actor? GREGORY PECK 12. I Think I Love You - David Cassidy What TV 'Family' show did David Cassidy star in? THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY (Did anyone have his poster on their bedroom wall? Were any other stars childhood heart throbs?) 13. Lovin' You - Minnie Riperton Have members singalong with the chorus, at loud volume. Just for fun! 14. I'm Like A Bird - Nelly Furtado In Greek mythology, who flew too close to the sun? ICARUS (he and his father attempted to escape from Crete by making wings out of feathers and wax) (Do any members fancy hang gliding, or parachuting?) 15. White Cliffs Of Dover - Vera Lynn What was Dame Vera Lynn's nickname in the Second World War? FORCES' SWEETHEART How old is she now? 103 (Born 20th March 1917) 16. Up, Up And Away - 5th Dimension This song was used to advertise what? TWA - TRANS WORLD AIRLINES Ask members if anyone enjoys flying in a plane, or does anyone fear this? If members had a choice, where would they jet off to for a holiday? 17. Come Fly With Me - Frank Sinatra This song was used in the soundtrack to which 2002 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks? CATCH ME IF YOU CAN 18. I Can't Let Maggie Go - Honeybus What was this song used to advertise in the 1970s? NIMBLE BREAD (FOR SLIMMERS) 19. Rockin' Robin - Michael Jackson Michael Jackson was otherwise known as what? THE KING OF POP His ranch was called? NEVERLAND (after Peter Pan) 20. When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along - Dion & The Belmonts This song is included here because "Live, love, laugh and be happy" is a great motto for us all to live by! 21. The Birdie Song - Black Lace Not obligatory, but included here in case you wanted to get the group up and dancing...

PRACTICAL ACTIVITY For our practical activity, we printed off lots of colour images of birds for the tables. Then as we went through the questions, we paused when a bird was mentioned which corresponded with a picture and asked members to locate it and hold it up.

After the music round we then made a collage out of some of these pictures, images of birds that members had coloured in and models which members had made out of modelling clay.

As you can see from the images above, it was a very productive session.

We had also brought in a 'Squawkers McCaw' talking parrot toy from home, which also gave members a good laugh.

Or, you could have a go at making origami birds? Here is an instructive video from YouTube -

About Me

Simon O’Donovan MBE has worked in NHS Wales for most of his adult life, supporting people with dementia, their carers and families and developing and improving services to benefit this client group. 

He recently retired from working as a Community Mental Health Nurse within a Young Onset Dementia Service and continues to contribute to weekly CST 'Friendship Group' sessions as a volunteer co-facilitator.


He has been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive tried and tested activities resources, with the ultimate aim of providing an 'off the shelf' resource library of weekly themed CST sessions which can be used on rotation throughout the year. 


The main aim of this website is to share experience and resources freely, in order that others can dip in and out and use some or all of the materials provided in their own CST work. Thus it is hoped, facilitating and supporting the provision of uplifting and enjoyable sessions that optimise people with dementia's quality of life.

This site is not owned by or affiliated to any organisation. It’s a personal commitment, a not for profit exchange of ideas and a resource library which aims to enable more widespread use of CST approaches for people with dementia. 

To this end, 'Guest Blogs' are VERY welcome, but bearing in mind that no images of clients are to be used without their express written informed consent.

Please note that some images are reproduced on this blog from the internet under the 'fair use copyright' principle, in that they will only be used for educational purposes with disability groups and in no way will be linked to profit making activities.


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