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

Outdoor Program

group learning
Me with the kids from last years program

For the past two days (Thursday and Friday) I have been busy helping the Allegany State Park recreation department with the Great Outdoors program for almost 350 kids from 5 different school districts.

Kids excitement from releasing a hummingbird (last year photo)

The Great Outdoors program had 11 different presenters discussing fish, beaver, stars, recycling, bears, ect… and my station was focused on bird banding. I gave a 20 minutes/group explanation on what bird banding is, who does bird banding and how a bird bander bands a bird.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

I had 4 classes before lunch and then 3 classes after lunch to dazzle the kids with birds. With only 20 minutes allowed . . . . I tried to show each group 2 birds being banded (today was a slower bird day) and then watch the bird being released.

Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler

The kids always enjoyed the fact that we would release the bird off of the teachers head . . . . ! Ya I am not sure the teachers loved my station as much as the kids did!

Red-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo

The kids are always having fun at my station, which results in having the loudest station!! Although the kids are having fun . . . . we are still learning about science and how banding helps ornithologist learn more about the birds. The best part is the kids opportunity to see two birds up close.

American Redstart
Second Year – American Redstart

I have been doing this Great Outdoors program for the past 5 years and each year the kids astonish me with their excitement while I am trying to amaze them with the birds. Even with the many educational programs that you see me do . . . this is my one of few educational programs that I am allowed to do during work time.

Common Yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroat

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25 responses

  1. LOB

    You are a Prince among men! I’m declaring myself the CEO of the TLBFC!

    6 June 2008 at 10:02 pm

  2. Grace

    A Rose-breasted GrosBEAK. Love the funny photo of the Red-eyed Vireo too.

    6 June 2008 at 10:05 pm

  3. What a great program for kids! And how lucky they are to have this opportunity to learn about, and enjoy, nature. Your photos, as always, are too good!

    6 June 2008 at 11:07 pm

  4. Being able to see birds in the hand,and even touch them, is a powerful and far from ordrinary learning experience. For that reason,your exciting program of a banding demonstration,perhaps more than any other program, may leave so lasting an impression on kids that their appreciation of nature and birds can not help but be strongly enforced and stimulated. For some kids,I would suggest, it may even be a life- changing experience that they may remember for the rest of their life.

    I would not underestimate the strong and positive effect your teaching can have on young,excitable and impressionable minds.

    7 June 2008 at 12:35 am

  5. Good work. 🙂 The red eyed vireo reminds me of Don King. *L*

    7 June 2008 at 1:52 am

  6. winterwoman

    Linda – I’ll join the fan club, too! How much are dues? Do I get a TLBFC pin to wear on my hat? (I know, as soon as I fix the Eagle pin!)

    7 June 2008 at 6:16 am

  7. Lisa at Greenbow

    I would love to watch you teach that class. Fun fun. I love the red-eyed vireo photo. He looks mad.

    7 June 2008 at 8:06 am

  8. Wow – 350 kids!! And all of the programs you did – this is great, Tom! As always, I love your close-up birdie photos!

    7 June 2008 at 10:20 am

  9. Your close-up bird shots continue to be amazing… that RE Vireo really knocks me out! (I imagine that’s what a bug sees just before he meets his end.)

    7 June 2008 at 10:43 am

  10. Wonderful work you are doing there. Those kids are so lucky to be a part of this. The birds up close just take my breath away – they are truly too beautiful for words!

    7 June 2008 at 11:59 am

  11. Great program for the kids! It’s hard to imagine those little things flitting in the bushes and trees are such beautiful birds full of their own unique traits. It’s so good for everyone to see them up close like that. Just wonderful pictures!

    7 June 2008 at 12:41 pm

  12. @ Linda – you are too kind! Blush
    @ Grace – thanks and took these all before the kiddies showed up!
    @ Rondi – thanks and they got to visit many stations learning about different sides of nature.
    @ cestoady – thanks and I 100% agree with you on this. Thanks for your kind words!
    @ lana –thanks and that Red-eyed Vireo is a little like Don King!
    @ Jen – LOL . . . dues are visiting the blog . . . you guys make me blush!
    @ Lisa – we try to have fun and maybe one day you will get the opportunity?
    @ Pam – we didn’t have them all at once but broken up into groups! Thanks
    @ Rurality – thanks and bugs don’t have a chance with these birds!
    @ Bird Girl – thanks and I am just as lucky to have the opportunity to show them the birdies!
    @ Linda – thanks and macro sure make them look bigger than they are!

    7 June 2008 at 12:50 pm

  13. Oh, how fun Tom! Learning should be THAT much fun so that it’s really remembered. Who knows? Maybe there will be a budding naturalist each group. I am sure it’s something they will always remember since you put so much into making it fun and educational.

    7 June 2008 at 1:18 pm

  14. Great work Mr. Tom. Wonderful close up shots.

    7 June 2008 at 1:22 pm

  15. Hi Tom! I’ve missed visiting you. First of all, I loved the story about your Mom and the cat who escaped. I would have done the same thing!

    That red-eyed vireo is beautiful! I’m glad you are enjoying so much. The kids must love you!

    7 June 2008 at 1:44 pm

  16. Great pictures!

    I think some of the most satisfying moments of my own life have been those in which I was sharing the wonders of nature with children.

    7 June 2008 at 4:30 pm

  17. Great work Tom! Thanks for passing your knowledge and joy for nature on to these kids. We all owe you our gratitude.

    Love those head-on shots!

    7 June 2008 at 8:44 pm

  18. Gerry Sell

    My first visit and so much fun! There’s nothing like showing children small miracles. Thanks for the RE Vireo.

    8 June 2008 at 7:50 am

  19. @ Jayne – thanks and would love to have you join me. I hope they just share more time with nature!
    @ Science guy- thanks
    @ Mary – I have missed you visiting also! Thanks and the Vireo was a fave photo of mine also!
    @ Born Again Bird Watcher – thanks and it is important to share nature with kids!
    @ Lynne – thanks and lets hope they share their future knowledge with others.
    @ Gerry – Glad you enjoyed it here!

    8 June 2008 at 7:45 pm

  20. Bethany

    I’m suprised the RBGR didn’t try to bite your camera! It was so close! Great pics and can’t wait to make it down again!

    9 June 2008 at 10:15 am

  21. I bet those kids will have fond memories of this. Great photos–especially of the girl with the hummingbird.

    9 June 2008 at 11:54 am

  22. @ Bethany – not the camera but did go for my fingers! I think I can still feel the bite! Whenever you have time we would love to have you help!
    @ Joan – I hope they do and actually that photo was from last year but we did have a hummingbird this year!

    9 June 2008 at 8:29 pm

  23. Very admirable of you to share your experience with the future generation of potential birders 🙂 What an excellent adventure for the kids… wonderful learning opportunity. Oh, and once again… great pictures!

    10 June 2008 at 9:03 am

  24. Marg

    Yay Fun at work-I love that Vireo pic-funny!

    11 June 2008 at 4:45 pm

  25. Grace

    Linda and Jen — I know where we could get official TLBFC buttons…. (hee hee)

    11 June 2008 at 11:30 pm

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