My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Great Outdoors Program

group learning

Me with the kids!

This Thursday and Friday the recreation department here in Allegany State Park hosted the Great Outdoors Week program for almost 300 kids from 5 different school districts.


The excitement of releasing a hummingbird!

The park arranged 12 different presenters to discuss fish, deer, stars, etc… and my station focused on bird banding! I had 20 minutes to explain what bird banding is, who does bird banding and how a bird bander bands a bird. I had around 6 class per day and each group (except the last one) were able to see 2 birds being banded (processed).

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Historically, I am known to have the loudest station (is it my fault the kids are having fun??). Although the kids are having fun at the station, we are still discussing science and how banding helps ornithologist understand the many questions they are studying. Then I would capture a bird like the Yellow Warbler who was first banded (by me) three years ago (with another school group). I also captured a Black-capped Chickadee who was first banded (by me) on the 26 January 2007 over at the Administration Building. This little Dee turned out being a female who traveled east (1.5 miles) to build her nest.

Black-capped Chickadee

The recaptured female Chickadee

Rather than me babbling about my past two days, I will just let you enjoy some of the photos that I captured!!

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird (female)

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler (female)

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

Blue-winged Warbler.jpg

Blue-winged Warbler

More pictures of these birds can be found on my flickr page but do note the picture below of the pollen that I had to deal with all day long!


14 responses

  1. That last pollen shot is pretty cool. Great shots, and great work with the kids! I have to say, I am also impressed that you still manage to blog so frequently given how busy you are. I can barely manage to get a few links posted now and again.

    9 June 2007 at 12:43 am

  2. Hi Mon@rch – great pix as usual. Looks like a fun place to work. You must really enjoy showing the kids what bird banding is all about.

    9 June 2007 at 12:49 am

  3. Amazing pollen – is it from certain trees? Your bird pictures are fabulous again – your site is really a good place for bird-learning and appreciation. The kids seem to be listening intently in the above picture. Good job all around.

    9 June 2007 at 12:58 am

  4. Tom,

    Your pictures were amazing. I love that you do so much child education there — and your kids SHOULD have fun! My son (7) was here when your page came up and he was fascinated.

    I started sneezing just looking at that pollen. Yikes! I can relate — when our redwood trees lose their pollen its like yellow clouds. Awful!

    9 June 2007 at 12:37 pm

  5. This is awesome Tom that you continue to teach so many kids! I love all of your bird photos, too!
    Wow on the pollen photo!!

    9 June 2007 at 12:46 pm

  6. Lovely, lovely photos! Those kids are lucky to have you as a teacher, and you’re lucky to have them!

    All of those photos are great, but especially the RWBB female – love her expression!

    9 June 2007 at 1:42 pm

  7. These great pixes are so up-close and personal I hardly recognize the birds!

    9 June 2007 at 2:06 pm

  8. My face is all puffy just looking at that last picture. Having the loudest station is a point of pride if the kiddos are taking something away. Want to do a homeschool presentation?

    9 June 2007 at 2:16 pm

  9. Grace

    Was that female redwing aiming a peck at your fingers? I love the barn swallow portrait.

    9 June 2007 at 4:42 pm

  10. I love the way the bright eyes of the birds are matched by the bright eyes of the kids as they take in all you have to teach them!
    Let’s hear it for noisy work stations–more learning going on there, folks.

    9 June 2007 at 4:45 pm

  11. The barn swallow…sigh.

    I’m not surprised to hear you have the loudest work station. Heck, you are pure entertainment on your blog – I can’t imagine how entertaining you are in a classroom environment!

    Lucky kids…

    9 June 2007 at 9:16 pm

  12. @ Nick – Thanks and I wonder sometimes myself how I find the time! My cats are always bugging me for attention!
    @ Mary Carlson – Thanks, but my real job (when I don’t do fun things like this) is in the office all day long! Most everything you see here is done on my off hours!
    @ NatureShutterbug – ugg, spruce I think!! Maybe Red Pine, ugg it’s on a little island and never really gone and looked up close! Thanks for your kind words!
    @ Liz – thanks and this is a busy time of the year with the little ones! I spend most of my time teaching adults!! High five to your son!
    @ Pam – thanks and it was a blast with them!
    @ Adam – thanks for your kind words!
    @ Cathy – Thanks, I love wildlife pictures up close and personal!!
    @ Trixie – I was telling the lady in the station next to me “I can’t figure out why I keep on sneezing”! Then saw this happen! I rarely have allergies but when you have this much in the air you get covered in the stuff! BTW: I do work with many home school kids already, but come on down!
    @ Grace – That Red-winged Blackbird would not stop moving and this is the only shot that was in focus! I do love the Barn Swallow shot also!
    @ KGMom – I am pretty good at getting them loud (even the quite groups). Ya, they all enjoyed seeing these birds up close!
    @ Mary – Thought you would like that shot! LOL, In life I am actually boring!! 😉 !!! Only kidding!


    10 June 2007 at 10:04 am

  13. It’s so neat to see the pictures of the birds up close. I love the way their feathers look. The kids look like they’re really getting into what you’re telling them. I’m so envious of anyone who’s able to relate to kids, as I do not have that talent at all. Thanks for sharing the pictures and story.

    10 June 2007 at 5:42 pm

  14. Ruthie – thanks and they are amazing up close! It helps to have birds in the hand to capture their interest! I bet under similar situation you too would have their interest! Thanks for visting and commenting!

    12 June 2007 at 11:05 am

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