We’re all feeling the stress of uncertainty as we get through the first days of what may be an extended period of social isolation and staying home.
Parents are scrambling for ways to teach, inspire, or just deal with their kids with the schools closed. Everyone’s at home, all day.
For Claire Fiegener, Greenbelt’s Conservation Director, birds were part of the solution, and a new hobby for her kids.
“After realizing that my husband and I would be working from home while our twin 13-year-old boys would also be home from school, and the initial panic started to wear off, I knew we needed to provide some fun and structured activities they could do during the day.
Learning more about our local “backyard” birds appeared to spark some interest, so we brought out our binoculars and bird identification books, printed out local common bird lists, and downloaded bird ID apps on their iPads. They set up notebooks to document the species they were viewing and general information about the time and location (in the yard) they were conducting their viewing activities.
We present different challenges to them such as what time of the day do you tend to see more birds, how does the weather impact your viewing, and can you use the bird ID apps (that include bird song recordings) to identify any birds by their song, to try and keep them engaged and interested for as long as possible.
As my family is working to adjust to these uncertain and trying times, it does bring me joy to see my children discover a new ‘hobby’ as they call it, that sparks their interests.”
What do they think about their new stay at home work, and how is it making their stay at home time better?
Let’s hear from one of Corvallis’s newest birders:
“Bird watching is fun because it is nice and peaceful outside, it is cool to look at pretty birds, and it gives you something to do to get some fresh air. I think it is peaceful outside because no one is talking and it is very quiet.
I find the birds to be pretty because they are very graceful and their calls sound cool. In addition, the bird’s multi-colored feathers are very unique and nice to look at. I would recommend bird watching to other kids who are also out of school because it is fun and it can help you calm down during a stressful time like this.
I first did bird watching last week. It is a very fun and cool hobby especially at a time like this while kids are home from school because of the Covid-19 virus, and if you haven’t done it before, now is a great opportunity to try it!”
This is how kids get hooked on birds, they learn it at home.
Bird watching is an easy way to connect with nature and once you start it may be hard to stop. On your walk, in the car, or from the couch, birds can be seen or heard just about anywhere.
Feeling cooped up and want to get your family started in the world of birds?
Claire has some great tips up above, and here’s an article from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology with resources for bringing birds into your life and making the next few weeks a little easier.
We’ll be posting more ideas and resources for home science and nature learning on our social media channels over the next few weeks. Be safe, and bird on!
Due to concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus and in an abundance of caution, we have decided to cancel this event. Look for a re-scheduled event later in the year, and we hope you will be able to join us!
Let’s celebrate World Migratory Bird Day! Join Greenbelt Land Trust, Chintimini Wildlife Center, and Environment for the Americas for a special kid-friendly bird walk at Bald Hill Farm conservation area. We’ll identify birds, tour a wildlife habitat restoration site created by local 3rd-graders, and learn about the Willamette-Laja partnership that links bird conservation between Oregon and Mexico. Hands-on activities for kids include stewarding plants for bird habitat and making a bird-themed craft to take home. There will also be special appearances by LIVE Chintimini bird ambassadors! Se habla español.
For more information or to RSVP for this free, family-friendly event, email Rebecca. Space is limited. Additional details and directions will be provided upon registering.
Natural Areas Celebration Week
This event is brought to you by Greenbelt Land Trust, Chintimini Wildlife Center, Hike it Baby, and Environment for the Americas. Project partners are Marys River Watershed Council and the Institute for Applied Ecology. This event is part of Natural Areas Celebration Week.
Natural Areas Celebration Week has something for everyone! Natural resource partners throughout the region join together during this week to highlight their projects and to celebrate the incredible resources in our backyard here in the mid-Valley. From walks to talks, open houses, local food and drinks, and more, you are sure to have a great time!
***This event is currently full. To add your name to the waitlist, please email Rebecca. You will be contacted as soon as possible if space becomes available.
It’s Earth Day! Let’s get outside and explore nature through stories, the imagination, and play. We’ll learn about the birds, carnivores, and other species of wildlife that live at the Bald Hill Farm conservation area. Join Greenbelt Land Trust and Chintimini Wildlife Center for a kid-friendly outing where we’ll take a guided nature walk along the forested Mulkey Ridge trail in search of wildlife signs, enjoy a group story about Oregon’s wildlife (written by a local author), and make a wildlife-themed craft you can take home. There will also be special appearances by live Chintimini bird ambassadors!
This event is free and family-friendly. Although kids of all ages are welcome, this event is ideal for ages 4 to 8. Light snacks provided. Space is limited.