Food for Thought

Hello everyone! This week went by pretty quickly. After starting my week with doing a shorebird survey and seeing no shorebirds other than Killdeer, it picked up later in the week! For my second survey of the week, I had a volunteer from LA Audubon’s West Los Angeles College program. The beginning started out very slow, but half way in we had a lot more activity. While it was a hot day, the diversity of birds we saw definitely made up for it. We saw some Black-bellied Plovers, Spotted Sandpipers, oystercatchers, Willets, and Wandering Tattlers! In all the past surveys that I had done, I did not come across any Wandering Tattlers. Their bright yellow legs stood out from a distance, and their resemblance to Spotted Sandpipers caught me off guard.

This week I also assisted in LA Audubon’s STEAM Workshop held at Daniel Webster Middle School. This event was open to other schools that LA Audubon already works with, to educate them on nature and science.  For this event, we set up three separate stations where the kids learned about technology, soil, and engineering. I was at the techno bird station with Tania and Emily, who are both LA Audubon staff and past EFTA interns. At our station we discussed how we use technology to study birds. We began by discussing the purpose of camera traps, how they are set up, and the cool animal pictures that we’ve captured. Then we moved on to microphones, where we explained to the students how we record bird songs/calls and showed them how every bird has a different spectrogram. Lastly, we discussed binoculars and how they are essential to birders. Following our binocular talk, we had a short bird walk and observed birds throughout the school grounds.

Once each group had visited each station, we began taking them through three other separate stations we had set up. The three stations we set up included low water usage, medium water usage, and high water usage. At each station we provided students with food and snacks after we discussed how much water a pound of each food item took to produce. At the very end, everyone had a chance to relax and enjoy their food. The students were noticeably satisfied with today’s activity. Even more so were the parents and teachers; we received a lot of positive feedback about every activity we had done throughout the day.

Carla Sanchez
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