Kulshan Creek kids migrate, mingle and munch

Friday, April 17th I tagged along with Amy Brown and Orlando Garcia, assisting with the Kulshan Creek Neighborhood Program. With the arrival of spring and the return of many migratory birds Amy had a wonderful afternoon planned, which included talking about our feathered friends and playing games. As we drove into the Kulshan Creek neighborhood the clouds that had been hanging around all day dissipated and the sun broke free.
With the sun shining brightly it was no surprise that the kids were full of energy and ready to play outside. After a snack and brief introduction Amy, Orlando and myself took them to the school’s playfield for games and activities. The picture above shows the kids playing a game called the Migration Challenge. This tag like game involves running from a tarp, representing the birds habitat, around a pole and back to the tarp without getting tagged by the cat or the three P’s, poison, pollution and pesticides. As the game progresses the tarp gets smaller and smaller. As is got harder and harder for the youth to fit on the tarp more and more of them got tagged and the population got smaller. We then talked about why bird habitat might get smaller and what that means for bird populations.
After all that migrating I led the kids in some bird behavior skits. Acting out first in bird language then in English we demonstrated the dawn chorus, a mama bird feeding her young and other ways birds communicate. With a new understanding of how birds mingle it was time to go inside and make some bird feeders.
KC kids make feeders
Using pine cones, peanut butter and birdseed the kids crafted a variety of feeders. Here’s the simple instructions for how to make your own bird feeder: tie a string to the pine cone for hanging, slather some peanut butter onto the pine cone, then roll it in the birdseed. The excitement on the kids faces when we told them the feeders were for them to hang in their own yards was priceless. Many of them had noticed the return of the birds this spring and were eager to see them outside of their windows eating, off of their homemade bird feeders.
KC birdfeeders
Though the project was a bit messy the kids did a great job of helping us clean up. Many thanks to all of the kids who participated, the Kulshan Creek tutors, and all the partners who help make the Kulshan Creek Neighborhood Program a success. I look forward to helping out again this spring and summer.

Photos by Meghann Willard

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