Art. # 233
NURTURING AN INTEREST IN BIRD LIFE
Young Birders at Delta Kindergarten
Photos and text by Stefan Rust
(In terms of the Geneva Convention the copyright of these texts belongs to Stefan Rust)
In a combined effort of BirdsConTour’s Young Birders and Birding Training projects, 13 young children from the Delta Kindergarten, participated in an 1,5 hour session getting introduced to different bird conservation projects offered by BirdsConTour. These included BirdsConTour for a cleaner Bird Habitat, Bird & Birder friendly Habitat, Birds in Art, Anti-Poaching Crusade, Environmental Management and Bird of the Year.
After litter was deliberately dumped on a certain place within the Delta Kindergarten premises, the program kicked off with a brief introduction of BirdsConTour and what this organization does. After an easy explanation of some threats to birds, including litter, the kids were encouraged to collect the litter (deliberately dumped) lying around.
While picking up all types of rubbish, the negative effects of litter to animals got explained.
In the collected litter, there were two items that could serve as bird feeders. To show the children that one doesn’t need to buy expensive items to be able to support the garden birds through putting out food and water for them, out of these two items a bird water- and seed feeder was constructed. In a way of showing them how to draw birds, the sides of the feeders were outlined with birds and the children were encouraged to paint these bird drawings with color.
After completion, the excited children chose a suitable spot where to hang the homemade seed- and water feeder. Whilst attaching it, the importance of choosing the right place for the safety of the birds and why to support wild birds around infrastructure was explained.
To calm down the children, they settled down to listen to a story out of a children’s book, telling about last years “king of the birds” in Namibia (Bird of the Year 2013), the Common Ostrich. This children’s book was published by the Birds in Words project from BirdsConTour with drawings been supported by a three year old child.
After reading this book, the children’s energy was replenished, and the poaching of animals and especially birds was discussed. For the children to better captivate this in their memory, a game was played. One child was chosen to be the poacher, trying to poach a threatened bird (toy bird). The rest of the children were acting as bird conservationists and rangers. This was lot of fun and pure excitement.
At the end of the program, and again to relax the young birders, this years “king of the birds” (Bird of the Year) and its conservation status was introduced by again reading a newly published children’s book, also published by the Birds in Words project from BirdsConTour. The title reads: Die Riesentrappe und der Farmer Bör (The Kori Bustard and the farmer Bör).
For their participation all children, as listed below, received a one penguin-rated Bird & Birder Friendly Award and may now call themselves Young Birders:
Jamie-Ann Clark, Mianka Bester, Askan Pinsenschaum, Ean Esterhuizen, Sonja Fischer, Megan Goldbeck, Kayla Geschke, Ayumi Lesar, Fenja Lesar, Marcel Piehl, Raphael Von Hundelshausen, Liana Starke and Jörg Krauer.