Shorebird enthusiasts came together this past weekend in Cordova to celebrate the 23rd Annual Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival. It brought together birders, photographers, artists and kids. Among the activities in the festival were guided bird walks, keynote speakers, kid’s activities, art shows, a Birder’s Bash and a Birder’s Challenge. Jillian and I were in charge of Kids Activities night called “Jr. Shorebirders.” We had a great turn out with about 25 kids participating. Activities in this event were making bird masks, origami birds, paper shorebirds and coloring IMBD sheets. It was great to see how much the kids enjoyed it and many of them stayed the entire time of our activity to do all the crafts projects.
I also helped out during the Birder’s Bash, a dinner and silent auction held at a local restaurant to raise money for future Shorebird Festivals. The event was a great success with many local Cordovans as well as many birders from out of town. Bird masks made their appearance again, with adults this time! A fun activity while we waited for dinner.
The last day of the festival I led a Bilingual Family Bird Walk at Hartney Bay, an important tidal mudflat area for shorebirds. I had 10 people in my walk and several families also joined in at different parts of the walk. Topics I discussed during this walk were how to use binoculars, birding etiquette, how shorebirds use the mudflats and we looked at shorebirds food in the mud. The kids had a great time; they asked many great questions and were very interested in learning about shorebirds. Although I did outreach to the Spanish speaking community in Cordova, I did not get any Spanish speakers in my walk. I put out flyers in English and Spanish and I also talked to several families in person. Unfortunately, we had some rainy weather that week and I think that is what may have discouraged them to come out. This motivates me to continue my outreach though. I would like to offer programs in some sunny weather. But I would also like to do a walk after some rainy weather because I think the rain makes it a different and exciting world to explore!