September 19th – NDD

IN Fern Hill’s field studies building talking about birds – up close and personal. There’s nothing like a bird in the hand to draw attention. -SAW

Although it has the veneer of a psychiatric disorder, it isn’t. NDD – or Nature Deficit Disorder – was cleverly coined to draw attention to the large, and growing disparity between humans, especially children, and an awareness of the natural world around us. Most children in our culture can not identify 5 bird species…but can recognize, on average, 200 corporate logos. As most of us are aware, the well-being of the world we live in is on thin ice. It’s important that “people” start to do what they can to protect “the environment”. But that’s sort of an empty sentiment when most of the “people” don’t know what is in that environment – how can we ask them to protect and maintain something they have no idea about?

Explaining how nets work and why we set them where we do. -SAW

Fern Hill School has seen this disconnect as a problem and, following Joanne Fleet’s initiative, has fostered a field studies aspect to their education which includes the study and banding of birds. It’s a line of teaching that’s right up my alley, something I really believe in. After setting up nets last week we got going in earnest this week. What is encouraging is the interest that the students show in birds. We are starting our “Young Ornithologists” Club this week. It was supposed to be Thursday but we had enthusiasts, some of whom had been involved with banding in the Spring, run with it today, as soon as the opportunity arose. There’s a real hands-on aspect to their involvement – I try to get interested students “doing” as soon as possible – from youngsters scribing to older students walking through holding birds and then, with help, actually banding. We’ll have no trouble filling this club. Hopefully, those involved will carry this interest and knowledge into the future.

Grade 4’s taking it in – note the young student scribing. She was great. -SAW

Yesterday (18th) at Fern Hill Burlington we banded 23 birds:
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 House Wren
1 Swainson’s Thrush
1 American Robin
5 Gray Catbirds
1 American Goldfinch
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
3 Tennessee Warblers
2 Nashville Warblers
1 American Redstart
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Northern Cardinal
ET’s: 29 spp.

September 19th at the Farm:

One of two Marsh Wrens banded today. -DOL

I don’t think I was ever meant to be a hermit but I must admit that being on my own at the Farm today was a treat. Blue skies, light winds and a river of birds moving along the edges and filtering through the treetops. Unfortunately I didn’t get much of a chance to just kick back and take it all in. Birds were finding the nets. At one point a flock of 18 juvenile Cedar Waxwings decided to pile into Net #1 at the same time. They’d been feasting on grapes as my hands would have indicated……Interestingly, the “late” warblers, Myrtles and Blackpolls are starting to move through as are White-throated Sparrows, a species I usually associate more with October.
Banded 72:
4 Eastern Wood Pewees
2 Blue-headed Vireos
3 Red-eyed Vireos
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 House Wren
2 Marsh Wrens
1 American Robin
18 Cedar Waxwings
2 White-throated Sparrows
6 Song Sparrows
3 Swamp Sparrows
5 Nashville Warblers
4 Common Yellowthroats
1 Magnolia Warbler
2 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Western Palm Warbler
14 Myrtle Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
ET’s: 39 spp.

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