Educational Bird Banding Project
In September 2007, the Black Canyon Audubon Society, in conjunction with Ridgway State Park and Colorado Division of Wildlife, conducted its’ second bird banding program. For five days, the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory conducted an educational bird banding station for 4th graders in the Montrose and Ridgway school districts.
Bird bander and educator Glenn Giroir set up and ran 6 mist nets at Dallas Creek located at the west end of Ridgway State Park. Four hundred children came through the 30 minute banding station presentation during the five day program. The children learned about migration, bird identification, and bird banding procedures.
Great fun was had by all as the children got to see many different species of birds and and even got to release birds themselves. In addition to the bird banding station, 2 other stations were also conducted.
First, was a feather station run by Ridgway State Park, where children got to touch and see bird feathers up close, and learn about their function and biology. They also got to see and understand the difference in bird’s beaks, using Audubon’s bird skins collection.
The second station was an outdoor field station put on by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The children broke into small groups, were given several pictures of common plants and trees found in riparian habitat, and then were sent on a hunt to find these plants and trees. More information about the plant was on the back of the sheet, and they read this aloud after finding the plant.
After lunch, Ridgway State Park put on a short Nature Scavenger Hunt to end the day. The children and teachers loved every moment of this morning!
This program was a model of cooperation between different organizations: Black Canyon Audubon paid for the Bander/Educator from Rocky Mt. Bird Observatory, and Ridgway State Park donated trailer spaces for volunteers, funded half the cost of school buses, and set up nature programs for the children, as well as the use of their park. Their Park Naturalist set up and ran the Feather Station, and worked with the schools to schedule classes.
And the program couldn’t have been completed without the help of the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The agency provided each student and teacher with an activity workbook that both prepared students for their field trip, and helped continue their bird education back in the classroom. The CDOW also funded half the cost of the school buses that brought the children to Ridgway State Park for this special field trip.
It took great eff ort and planning to make this years’ program such a success. Thanks to all that contributed their time and effort into making this years’ program so beneficial to the hundreds of children that will forever have a positive experience and lasting memory about the benefits of birds in our world.
FOR MORE INFO:
Contact Cheryl Day,
Black Canyon AudubonSociety