IMBD at Yaquina Head!

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area celebrated IMBD by giving a free day for visitors and provided several activities throughout the day. For the last three weeks in the midst of tide pool and shorebird programs, surveys, and lab work; I was in charge of planning and advertising the event which has been a lot of hard work. Yaquina Head hasn’t celebrated Migratory Bird Day in two years and the goal was to engage new people to come visit the natural site especially Hispanics. So for that day all activities were to be bilingual and we sent a press release in Spanish and English to local newspapers and radios. Additionally I went into the schools and spoke with the ESL teachers who helped me spread the word to their students. I also went into the library and Help Center for adults for Spanish first speakers. In total 224 flyers were handed out to individuals and below are some of the places the event was advertised in.

IMBD posting in Statesman Journal

The day of IMBD was great and everything went smoothly. We couldn’t have had better weather that day; it was sunny and hot, with no wind, very shallow water and a lovely tide exposure. The activities were three Peregrine Watches, Point Interpretation with USFW volunteer on nesting birds, two Bird Walks, and an activity table for kids. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the activities and nature collaborated with us too.Overall we had an attendance of 276 people which was good, more than the previous Migratory Bird Day event at the site. However, the Hispanic/ Latino attendance was very low; we did however had a good amount of international visitors.

On the birds walks and Pregrine watch, the Peregrine Falcon pair and common murres put on a great show. The female Peregrine was on her nest most of the day giving a great view, the male occasionally came and the two were seen making calls and interacting with each other. The common murres were on the rocks establishing a nesting site and thousands were seen around the islands. Bald Eagles occasionally came and disturbed the breeding site keeping it suspenseful for the public.  Additionally we saw a handful of swallows and songbirds, and by the water we were gifted with whales sightings during the bird walks which made everyone’ day. The first group saw one and the second saw five; all were as close to shore as they could be. The second bird walk was more popular than the first one attracting fifteen visitors versus two. Martha and Mike started on Saturday and did a wonderful job interpreting the nesting seabirds as well as keeping an eye on some new Harbor Seal pups.

The activity table in which kids got to explore beak adaptations in the “What’s for Dinner?” activity and go through the hardships of a migrating bird in “The Migration Challenge” were very engaging. The beaks activity was relevant with species that they would see at the site like the Black Oystercatcher, Brown Pelican, and Bald Eagle. The migration game was one that kids wanted to play over and over again which was great! Each kid got to pick a migrating bird of their choice to be throughout the game and wear it on their shirt which added to the fun.  I had some parent teachers that specially enjoyed it and were taking notes to repeat it in their classrooms.

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