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 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: