This month we were concentrating on observation and both the Hatchlings (the newer and younger birders) and the Fledglings (the more experienced group) had to learn to describe birds using the terms that Birders all understand.
Here is the list of terms we gave the Fledglings and asked them to use at least four times in their description:
Are you a budding bird watcher? Do you notice the birds in your back yard and wish you could name them? Do you hear birds singing and wonder who is making that sound? Do you enjoy being outside and finding things that other people don't even notice? Then the Early Birds Club is definitely for you.
The club meets once a month from October to April at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve (next to the library on Guadalupe and Greenfield) usually on the third Saturday of the month. As our name implies we start before the bird walks begin, as soon as the sun comes up and we can see the birds.
Each month we try to concentrate on a different aspect of birding skills that children can use in the future. Each member is given a notebook and we explore ways of using them. All levels of expertise are welcome, we hope to help each other. Parents must either come themselves or appoint another adult to come with the children. So far all the parents have really enjoyed learning about birds alongside their children.
Each month a small home project can be undertaken to keep the focus going at home. There is no cost for this and if you need to borrow binoculars for the walks we will arrange this.
If you need more information or would like your child to take part contact Joy Dingley at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 480 419 9804.
The bird on our badge is an expert fisherman. He wades through the water on his long, long legs spearing fish and other small animals with his long sharp beak. He's a big bird as well, if he stretches out his neck he can be nearly four foot long and when he spreads his wings he's about six foot from wing tip to wing tip. You can't miss him as he flies above you beating those wings in a slow steady beat.
He's called the Great Blue Heron but most people would call him a grey bird. You have to look carefully to see the bluish tinge to his wonderful feathers.
So why is a water bird the logo for a bird group in the Valley of the Sun? Well our rivers and creeks have always been important, they have always made life possible in a very dry hot place. Wherever there are rivers and creeks you will find the herons making a very good living. The herons are very adaptable birds though; they've learnt a few new tricks. I often see herons on roof tops near golf courses, waiting to investigate the ponds there. You will find them at water treatment areas and near those shopping centers with the artificial landscaped lakes. So they teach us a lesson, water is very precious wherever it comes from, don't waste a drop.