Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Citizen Scientists in the Great Backyard Bird Count!

Sighting a bird with Russ

Watching and identifying the bird

On February 18th, my students participated in the Cornell Backyard Bird Count with help from birding expert, Russ Schipper.   Mr. Schipper, from the Kalamazoo Audubon Society, has come to North Shore for the past five years, sharing his love and expertise of birds with all of the fourth graders.  Every fall he comes to each classroom and teaches a lesson on bird adaptations, habitats and identification.  This year, he also came to the fifth grade classrooms and taught a new class specifically on owls.  He returns each February and takes my class into our outdoor learning center to identify birds and help submit our findings to Cornell University.  Cornell collects information from around the world to analyze trends in bird populations.  Students were able to watch online as the data was reported.  This was the first year that we saw robins in our backyard during this count.  We learned that some robins overwinter here and feed on fruit when insects are unavailable.  The robins were eating sumac berries.  A huge thank you to Russ Schipper for his dedication to educating and inspiring students at North Shore Elementary!