Dec 20
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Boy Scouts Bird Study merit badge class in conjunction with Christmas Bird Count

Boy Scouts Bird Study merit badge class in conjunction with Christmas Bird Count

It always amazes me that so many kids want to learn about birds. We can only take so many for our class and there is always a waiting list.

What class is that? We just completed our fourth annual Bird Study merit badge class in conjunction with the local Christmas Bird Count. This has been a very fun partnership between the Boy Scouts and the local Amos Butler Audubon.

It was a very snowy day for the class and we were all bundled up for the birding part. But, the snow didn’t deter us from finding our required 20 different species nor did it deter us from having fun.

One of the highlights was a Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree for all the boys to see it through the spotting scopes.

Another highlight was a very common bird that is not commonly known, Horned Larks. A flock flew overhead making their distinctive flight call, listen here. Horned Larks live in fields and can sometimes be drawn to yards with cracked corn.

Hopefully, some of the boys were inspired to begin the hobby of birding or bird feeding. At minimum, they learned a little bit more about noticing and appreciating birds.

Special thanks to the Rob and Eric Ripma of Nutty Birder for assisting with the class.

Dec 21
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Have you ever tried to teach and inspire someone and end up being inspired yourself?

Last Saturday I taught a Bird Study merit badge class for Boy Scouts. Two of my Audubon friends helped me in conjunction with the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count. We had a lot of fun; the boys participated and were very attentive.

There were 23 Boy Scouts who gave up a Saturday morning to learn about birds , were up early for two hours of classroom work and for two more hours of birding. They also braved the wintery cold and snow flurries to find and count birds; all of which were entered into the overall tally for the Christmas Bird Count.

As we wrapped up the class, I asked the boys to share their favorite parts of the morning.

A highlight for many of them was seeing a mature Bald Eagle “in the wild.”

One young Scout said, “I liked it when you played us the Brown Creeper’s call and one called back!” It was cool for them to see a Brown Creeper so close that they didn’t need to use their binoculars.

A boy, about 17 years old, was very intrigued to learn how birds can be an important indicator for the quality of an environment. Who knows? He may become an ornithologist because of his experience.

Such comments from the boys really touched and inspired me. They had a genuine interest in learning about the birds and nature around them. Who knows what it will lead to in their lives?

How have you been inspired by the next generation?

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