It is never too early to start learning about our feathered friends, and the Pamlico Partnership for Children agrees! Last spring, the Pamlico Partnership for Children, one of our 2016 Celebrate Urban Birds mini-grant winners, spread bird awareness to the youngest members of their community – preschoolers. This wonderful group has a mission to provide aid and opportunities for all children in Pamlico County, North Carolina, so that they enter kindergarten healthy and happy.
The staff at the Partnership were able to put their local environment to great use. As their office was surrounded by wetlands flourishing with wildlife, they decided it was the perfect location for a bird sanctuary and garden that the little ones could enjoy. The garden was complete with various plants and flowers, a bird bath, and several bird feeders. The birds weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the space, a black bear paid a visit too!
In the classrooms, the teachers and staff worked hard to prepare materials and activities for the children to get a full experience of birds. They added various bird-theme lessons to their curriculum to teach them about our focal species – from their feathers and beaks to their habitats and nests. Each lesson was accompanied by art activities which the children enjoyed. A brown paper tree was created and hung on the wall where the kids could place cut-outs of the focal species on it. Later on, they were provided with an opportunity to hatch chicks from eggs and even watch a live feed webcam video of an eagle and her chicks.
After a whole month of learning, the children went outside to do our citizen science activity – a 10 minute observation of urban birds and data collection. Teachers handed out some binoculars that the students shared to view the wildlife around them. The preschoolers were excited to see how the birds interacted with the newly created garden. They finished their bird-theme curriculum with an exciting art project. The children were able to make and paint small bird houses to take home and place in their own backyards.
We congratulate the Pamlico Partnership for Children for their efforts and thank them for exposing these young minds to the importance of birds in our communities and citizen science. The Partnership shows us that anyone, regardless of age, can participate and appreciate learning about urban birds. What a wonderful experience!