144 kids!!

Musical Nests

Paper Owl Fun

Preparing for musical nests

outreach in antonito 1 outreach in antonito 2 outreach in antonito 4

In only six hours, Mianna and myself managed to visit 11 classes from K-8th grade, watch 70 paper-bag owls be made, give out 40 bird activity books, watch 30 kids pretend to be birds, and have 44 kids participate in a JeoBIRDy game. A total of 144 kids learned about the importance of birds!! In a big town that might not seem like much, but here it does.. That’s a WHOLE school we outreached to in one day! A WHOLE school that let us take time from their busy testing schedule just so we could teach their children about birds. The most memorable moment of the day was receiving the biggest hug from a group of kindergarteners. I’ll never forget these moments 🙂

GOT TO SEE SOME BLACK-NECKED STILTS TODAY!! LOVE THOSE BIRDS!!

Let the Avocets come peaking in

School always boils down to that one week where you remember how much you should have paid attention and apparently did not…I am only kidding. This week I took my finals! I am officially done with my first year of college, YAY ME!!

It has definitely been a stress-filled week, but I managed to get through it level headed. I officially participated in my first shorebird survey. American Avocets are as graceful as ballerinas. Their red color is so rich with the bright morning sun. I learned that they apparently never get the worm because they are not early birds. It was not until after 8 o’clock that they finally decided to wake up to join the rest of the flocks for their breakfast. I was proud of myself because I remember at one time I had no eye for a bird, yet on our survey, I scooped out a Killdeer. It was magnificent to be able to get as close as we did to him before he scurried away like a road runner. Man, he had little legs but those little legs sure did move fast.

Given that the wetlands are made up of over 200 ponds I did not get lost once driving today. Okay, Okay, I admit I did miss the entrance turn and took us a few miles off track, but I still got us there. Six ponds, two girls, binoculars, food, music, and a Ford Explorer got through the journey in approximately 3 hours. I cannot wait to collaborate with Deisy and head out next week for our surveys again. I am beyond stoked now that school is over to finally get started on my summer fun with BLM. On that note, stay warm, or chilled until we meet again.

And We Keep On Running

“I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere in the world. Then I ask myself the same question” – Harun Yahya

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Growing up, this quote was always one of my favorites. I realized now that I have never truly stayed in the same place. Of course I have always stayed in Alamosa, but, I have grown so much that I have truly flown all over. I find myself willing to experience anything and everything. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be working for an agency as awesome and well developed as BLM. Here I am! I love every second of it too. I wake up every morning, slip on my boots and head out the door many times before the sun is up. Most would hate it, but of course I love it because it takes me back to those days I use to spend raking the hay earlier than when the sun even got up. I am FINALLY done with classes. Next week are finals then I shift into first gear and get to spend every lovely moment with Miss Deisy.

Monday was an eye opener for me. I will admit I have always dreaded 5th graders. They are at that stage of being older and wiser, yet still a little too immature. Mrs. Reynolds’ class taught me a whole lot about what 5th graders can be. I have never met such a quiet, well-mannered class in my entire life. We had so much fun! Fortunately, Reynolds gave us an entire morning to hang out with her kiddos. We spent time playing games and the wind stopped long enough for us to take them outside and identify birds with the binoculars. I had such a great time that I was sad I had to leave. She was really impressed because it was the first time that her students had gone an entire morning without even asking to use the restroom (which is unheard of). As we were saying our goodbyes, other teachers, as well as the principle, popped their heads into the classroom to see what was going on. They too were impressed…to the point that they asked us back for the 4th grade class. I scheduled them into our already busy outreach and asked the students if they would be willing to join us out in the field this summer. I cannot even explain the sight of all arms so high they were ready to touch the sky or the chattering volume of voices raising as they all screamed YES!!! I knew right there and then that my job was well worth it. Making an impact on those children’s lives is what I strive for. I was not only happy to teach them but also happy that they were able to teach me. I now know that not all 5th graders are complete nightmares nor do they ignore what I am explaining to them. We gave them a little test at the end; they were able to identify birds that before they had no idea even existed. They also were able to name what the bird was made up of, such as hollow bones. Needless to say it was a great time and I am excited to host an event for them this summer that they can enjoy more than just a few hours. As I write this I am headed to spend some more fun time with 4th graders. I will update next week about the adventures with them as well as my first time on a shore bird survey. Until next time……