Hooray for Bird Days!

iYa pasó la celebración del día internacional de las aves migratorias en Elkhorn Slough Reserva!

Good thing we celebrated International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) at Elkhorn Slough both Saturday and Sunday! Why? Because, unfortunately, Saturday was overcast, rainy and cold so we had about a total of 10-15 visitors at the reserve all day. However, Sunday was a much better turnout, with the warm sun beaming down most of the day. We had many families pass through that enjoyed their time at our IMBD event, and some were excited because they did not even know the event was taking place. Most of the kids that played the Migration Challenge wanted to play again and again! When they played the bean bag toss, the children learned how different birds have different diets, because the bean bags were different animals!
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Both parents and kids stretched their arms wide, to find out to how they compared to the wing span of several birds found in the reserve. As people took the Pledge to Conserve Birds and marked the actions they have taken,  our poster became quite colorful. Ninety percent of them have a reusable water bottle, and take their own bags to the store.
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Even the laboratory was open and celebrating migratory birds by providing a variety of feathers to observe under the dissecting microscopes. It’s amazing how these shorebirds are so well adapted to survive their long flight. Many of these birds have a preen gland which secretes an oil that birds use for cleaning and waterproofing the feathers. A bird transfers this oil to its feathers by rubbing its head against the oil and then around the rest of the body. Waterproofing is crucial to prevent the bird from being exposed to temperature extremes, that could easily cause it to die.
iYa viene otra celebración del día internacional de las aves migratorias en Watsonville! This Saturday I will be helping out at the Watsonville Nature Center IMBD event, and I am excited to see the differences. Since this event is more easily accessible to the public (via public transportation and walking), I expect there will be a larger turnout than at Elkhorn Slough Reserve (which is less accessible – a car is needed to get there).
Ariana Pacheco
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