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Submitted By

Kathy Rigling

Apopka, FL, United States

Early Birdie Clubbers

The nature club that I sponsor is very enthusiastic about learning more about our local environment , particularly birds. I started doing Project Feeder Watch with my classes in 2009. Since then we have submitted 42 counts. Last year I started monthly "Early Birdie" walks before school and we started to submit data using e-bird. We submitted 13 checklists last year from November through April. After moving to a different classroom last year, my nature club students helped to install a bird/ butterfly habitat in view of our classroom windows. This year, the birds are more acclimated to the new feeder locations and the students are learning about their feathered friends in a casual way as the birds make frequent feeder stops. Our goal this year is to continue our monthly data collection birding walks and to count our feeder birds for Project Feeder watch. We had our first "early birdie" walk last week and even though the students did not have decent binoculars they were so excited to learn to listen for various bird calls and try to solve the mystery of where the birds were calling from. They were thrilled to find 7 Eastern Bluebirds feeding in the PE field and were intrigued to try to locate an elusive yellow warbler. One young man even requested a copy of our collected data to add to his personal E Bird list. The students only disappointment was that they could not stay out in the field longer!

The Early Birdie Clubbers listening on the edge of the woods for intriguing calls.

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