Inspiring The Next Generation of Citizen Scientists

At the Cordelia Slough Education site, kids and parents recorded their observations and practiced using tools like binoculars, spotting scopes, eBird, and Merlin. Photos: Karen Sheldon

Bird Rescue hosts young community members at the Cordelia Slough Youth Education site for the Backyard Bird Count for Kids

Bird Rescue youth education docents welcomed a group of kids to our Cordelia Slough property to conduct a bird census this February as part of the The Great Backyard Bird Count. While inclement weather prevented our surveyors from heading out during the official four-day citizen science event, we were determined to give the kids an opportunity to explore the riparian habitat and contribute their data to science.

“I just loved being out on the property and getting to show the kids how many different species live so close to us. It was such a good day!” -Lizzie, a local parent

Lizzie, a local parent, brought her mother and three children out to the Cordelia Slough to participate in the event. Following the bird count, she remarked: “I just loved being out on the property and getting to show the kids how many different species live so close to us. It was such a good day!”

The group helped helped Bird Rescue with its ongoing biodiversity monitoring at the Cordelia Slough education site.

Bird Rescue volunteer, Karen Sheldon, led the group along the trail, sharing her extensive knowledge of the site and providing natural history information. The kids recorded their observations and practiced using tools like binoculars, spotting scopes, eBird, and Merlin.

Each of the participants had a different favorite take away from the event. Ed (10), clearly a budding naturalist, loved using technology to identify plants and animals by photos and sound recordings. Emma (8) said she just loved being out in nature and was especially fascinated by all the spider webs she found near the beaver dam. Abbie (6) learned about the Black Phoebe and how it performs aerial acrobatics catching insects to eat and has been keeping an eye out for these black and white birds back at home too. There was something exciting and new for everyone. Lizzie’s mom also enjoyed seeing the beaver dam in person – something she’d only ever seen on a screen before.

During their survey together, the kids observed 151 individual birds spanning 27 different species, including Common Goldeneyes, Killdeer, Northern Flickers, Great Egrets, and Savannah Sparrows. Beyond the birdlife that was the primary focus of the trip, the group also observed plants and insects common to the area and visited the site of some recent American beaver activity. Not only will their survey contribute to global citizen science efforts, but it will also help Bird Rescue with our ongoing biodiversity monitoring at the Cordelia Slough site.

We are honored to have the opportunity to help inspire this next generation of wildlife heroes in our community. Seeing their enthusiasm for the nature that is all around us – from spider webs to Great Egrets – reminds us why we do the work we do.

Learn more and support our education efforts at the Cordelia Slough:

To request a field trip for your school group, please fill out this request form.

Support the program by donating supplies through our Amazon Wish List

The Great Backyard Bird Count was launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon society as a citizen science project to collect data on bird populations.

The Cordelia Slough is part of the Pacific Flyway, a superhighway for migratory birds. The Pacific Flyway Fund awarded International Bird Rescue 40 acres of stunning riparian and marsh habitat to bring wildlife and environmental literacy to the next generation of advocates for nature.

For more information on the Pacific Flyway Center, visit their website.