As the sun begins to appear on the horizon, I prepare myself for the day ahead. Binoculars…. check…. Field guide… check…. window scope… check…. datasheet… check…. excitement… double check. My first survey for this internship was absolutely amazing! I saw American Avocets, Marbled Godwits, Willets, Great Egrets, Yellowlegs, White Faced-Ibis’, a Black-necked Stilt, Dowitchers, and my favorite…Wilson’s Phalaropes. Why is it my favorite? Thats simple. They make me laugh. They swim in circles. You haven’t lived until you have seen a Wilson’s Phalarope swim. I had the honor to see a flock of 400 Wilson’s Phalaropes swim in circles. As I watched them, the sudden image of a mob of people at a black friday sale came to mind. Can’t wait for my next survey 🙂
What do you get when you have four hours, 20 fifth graders, two EFTA interns, and six bird related activities? A FUN DAY! Mianna and myself spent the afternoon with 20 amazingly smart fifth graders. They learned about the differences between mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. They learned how to make pine cone bird feeders. They learned how to read a dichotomous key. They learned about the life cycle of the American Avocet. They learned about the importance of birds through a Bird Jeopardy game. They learned how to identify birds through their shape, color, legs, and beaks. They learned how to use binoculars. And most importantly.. they became so interested in birds that they didn’t want us to leave. I really felt like I made a difference in these kids. I hope they will take what they learned in one day, convert it into a long term memory, and have that memory emerge when it comes time to choosing a career.