All About Birds
To celebrate International Migratory Bird Day coming up MAY 9, 2009, the SCLC is planning a fun and exciting day with many activities. Some of the days’ events include origami, mask making, an art contest, bird presentations, as well as a short play and songs that will be performed by the students of the After-School Program and Eco-Club of the local Chilamate School.
As part of our environmental education classes and Bird Club activities, we were delighted to have the opportunity to experience Bird Banding at the SCLC. PhD student Nicole Michel introduced bird banding into our environmental classes helping students to identify migratory species of birds while increasing their knowledge of bird habitats in the breeding season and wintering season, information which is vial in order to understand declining populations of birds. In addition, the students were involved in a dialogue about sustainability which identified migratory bird species which are recaptured over time in order to determine location of birds throughout the year and collect data on productivity and survivability related to problems of deforestation.
The SCLC Bird Club has recently initiated and we have held two months of successful meetings. The group’s meetings are held every other Saturday, and include one hour of in-class training and one hour in-the-field participation making observations and identification of birds using binoculars and bird guides. The club offers students of grades 6 and higher the opportunity to gain practical skills in the field of birding which proves to be an invaluable asset in a community that revolves around ecotourism.
The Center also helped Lily Briggs from York University, Canada, to implement Bird Sleuth in Costa Rica. This is the first time the bird sleuth curriculum will be introduced to Latin America and what better location than Sarapiquí, Costa Rica where nearly 560 species of birds exist! The Bird Sleuth curriculum developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology was partially translated by Ms. Briggs for her Master’s thesis. With the assistance of the SCLC she was able to learn how students reacted to the curriculum and was able to extract constructive criticism from the teachers about the curriculum. The curriculum was implemented in four schools with through our Environmental Education and After School programs. Part of the curriculum includes entering bird observations into eBird (www.e-bird.org). This website hosts a database of bird observations from around the world. With eBird our Bird Club will be able to submit bird observations to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for everyone to see.
Lastly, all of our bird conservation and education efforts help and support the efforts of the Costa Rican Bird Route: Section San Juan—La Selva. A conservation initiative implemented by SCLC partner; Rainforest Biodiversity Group. Visit www.costaricanbirdroute.com for more information.