Continuing with my efforts in hosting some local Jr. Birder programs this summer, we had our second activity a couple of weeks ago. The second activity focused more on the basics of bird ID:
Activity 2: “Bird Identification: Getting Started”
Saturday, July 12th; 10:00am-11:00 am; Bobolink Trail, (Near East Boulder Rec. Center-Trailhead starts off Baseline Rd.)
Learn the basics of bird identification! We will talk about identifying birds based on their silhouettes or beaks, along with the learning how to properly use binoculars.
While there were only a couple of kids there, it was still great practice and experience to lead an environmental activity. The two activities I led were: “What is a Bird” and “Bird Topography” which are both free and downloadable from the EFTA http://www.birdday.org site (Links are below the pictures)!
“What is Bird” – http://www.birdday.org/2011materials/whatisabird.pdf
“Bird Topography” – http://www.birdday.org/2011materials/BirdTopoActivity.pdf
The pre-made lesson plans helped me feel a lot more comfortable in leading the activities along with the Jr. Birder books that I’ve been using as an additional guide (also found through EFTA’s site).
My only hesitation in leading these activities is the fact I am not an expert birder, and I’ve learned how to handle questions I don’t know usually with a response like, “That is a GREAT question! Let’s write that down and we can look it up later”. However, when leading activities for young children, you would think you wouldn’t need to be an expert, right? In my case, I had 6-year old Owen, who truly is a mini master birder! While I did teach him some things, such as the bird topography activity and what specific parts of birds are called, when it came to the actual bird walk he really knew every single bird we sighted along with many calls! He stumped me during the entire bird walk and there were many times he would confirm his bird sighting or call with me and I was not entirely sure on some of them. Some little kids never cease to amaze me! It was very good practice in leading an activity with a kid who knows a lot about the material, and I hope he learned something new from me. For the meanwhile, I’ll try to learn more of the local birds to hopefully stump my friend Owen next time! 🙂 Here are some of the birds that we heard and saw:
Upon returning to Colorado from the internship training in San Diego, one of the things I was looking most forward to was the removal of the cast that had been on my arm for a month and to continue with my EFTA internship! Well, I did get my cast off…only to find out that my bones improperly healed, I would need surgery, and a second casting. So, I sit here typing with one hand (I’ve gotten pretty good at it!) and reflect on what I have been working on here in Boulder, CO.
My current task has been working on Boulder’s 4th Annual International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD): Walk in the Wild event. The day is a family-fun, educational day where families can learn about the local wildlife (in particular, birds…of course) and help us in habitat restoration at Walden Ponds. Part of the responsibility in planning our Walk in the Wild has been to ask local stores for donations in the form of food, drinks, or raffle items! While filling out the form for one store, their question was, “Please tell us a little about why the organization is important to you and the community”
I didn’t really hesitate with my response:
When was the last time you looked outside your window and enjoyed the beautiful nature and animals that are in your backyard? So often, we think we need to travel far to see beauty while hiking or at a national park. This event and organization are important to our local community, and me because it is dedicated to providing a fun day where families can come together to learn about local nature and wildlife that is found here in our backyard of Boulder! Not only is this appreciation of nature invaluable, but the result of this day ending in funds raised to help restore habitat will forever help our beautiful backyard in Boulder at Walden Ponds.
Time is flying by and I’m off for more work involving this walk!