It's no surprise that I get attached to the KidSummer Kids who've been placed in my care each week. This week was no different. One of my favorite aspects of spending time with children and doing my best to impart constantly growing bird & nature knowledge is that they are capable of learning so much in such a short amount of time. By the end of the week, it's a collaborative effort and we're all learning things through observation and cross checking in our field guides. It's fantastic being able to do what I get to do. These KidSummer Kids were so enthusiastic about learning more of what Citizen Science is, why it's important and how they can directly help the birds. I created an eBird account that these bird nerds can continue to access when they're at home, or traveling, or visiting wild places - even their school yards!
Our data was about to grow following our bird walk this morning. Wait 'til they see the Wood-peewee that I mis-identified because we were too far away, and I'm always learning too! Another reason being a bird nerd is so cool - it's educational, whether you realize it or not. We had more great sightings on the Lee Baldwin Trail, especially of an Osprey who soared right by us...too fast for me to capture a decent photo. We also played a game called Food Chain Hide & Seek in the Beech Forest. It's a game where one child is the "avian predator"(Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Great Horned Owl) and the others are "avian prey" (beetles, ants, mice, fish) It's rather lengthy to describe, but the idea is to get them to understand the concept of bioaccumulation. The game is a visual aid in understanding that some birds ingest toxic chemicals for various reasons and depending on how much they ingest, it affects them in different ways, often adversely. They got it, I know they did because of the great questions they asked on our hike back to the museum! I hope you spread the word bird nerds! It's COOL to be a bird nerd! (double click images to enlarge)
Wood-peewee (!!!) I mis-identified this bird on the walk
Showing eBird to the bird nerds - an introduction to Citizen Science
Finding invertebrates in the tidal pool exhibit.
The famous blue lobster
Hanging out with Myrtle
Tina showing the bird nerds a leatherback turtle skull
Great Black-backed Gull breast bone
Gray Catbird spotted!
Recording bird behaviors and documenting the species
Red-winged Blackbird - female
Red-winged Blackbird - male
Mummichogs in the creek
Fresh water source on the rock
Stepping on the natural stairs
Talking about bioaccumulation
Roly poly bug - BIRD FOOD!
Hide & Seek
Mourning Dove demonstrating camouflage
In the fall, this glasswort will turn a beautiful
shade of purple...some are already starting to change
European Starlings flocking on the telephone poles
They wanted to bring their own field guides on our walk!
BIRD NERD SALUTE!!!
Happy Birding KidSummer Kids!