IMBD 2015 at the Watsonville Nature Center

This past Saturday we had our International Migratory Bird Day Event at the Watsonville Nature Center in Watsonville, CA.

We had a few different activities for our guests, including a bird walk led by one of the Watsonville Nature Center staff members.

The activity that I was leading was a nest building activity that illustrated the difficulty of building a sturdy nest that  could safely hold eggs and chicks and withstand various weather conditions. To prepare for this activity, Daniel, Stephanie, and I gathered materials that the students could use to build their nests. These materials included leaves, lichen, pebbles, pine needles, twigs, and most importantly: mud! I think the children (and some adults) had a great time building nests and were very proud of their creations. I asked our nest-makers whether they thought nest-building was difficult or easy and most said difficult. I then asked them to imagine how much harder it might be to do without hands!

Daniel showing off his nest-making skills!

Daniel showing off his nest-making skills!

Daniel's pretty nest.

Daniel’s pretty nest.

My inferior glob of mud.

My inferior glob of mud.




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The activity that Daniel was leading was the “bird buffet” game. In this activity, participants have different utensils to act as their bird beaks, such as chopsticks, spoons, forks, etc. They then have to collect as much “food” as they can—the food includes objects such as rubber bands, elbow macaroni, pennies. The point is to demonstrate that depending on your beak you might specialize in eating a certain food.


Playing bird beak buffet!

Playing bird beak buffet!


We also had a couple of local high school volunteers leading the Migration Game.

Unfortunately, the weather was not quite cooperative that day and we had gloomy and windy weather.

Overall, I think the event turned out very well and I think the visitors had a great time.

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