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Children get connected with nature at Christmas Kids Bird Count in Corner Brook

The Eaton boys, Sawyer, left, and Oliver, use their binoculars to find birds to count along the Corner Brook Stream Trail Saturday morning during the Christmas Kids Bird Count organized by the Humber Natural History Society.
The Eaton boys, Sawyer, left, and Oliver, use their binoculars to find birds to count along the Corner Brook Stream Trail Saturday morning during the Christmas Kids Bird Count organized by the Humber Natural History Society. - Dave Kearsey

Armed with bird seed and binoculars, a group of youngsters set out on the Corner Brook Stream Trail to get connected with nature.

They were in good spirits as they participated in the Kids Christmas Bird Count organized by the Humber Natural History Society with Corner Brook biologist and society member Sarah Butt leading the charge of youngsters and parents on Saturday morning.

Paddy Bowden peers through his binoculars with hopes of finding some birds during Saturday’s Christmas Kids Bird Count held Saturday in Corner Brook thanks to the Humber Natural History Society.
Paddy Bowden peers through his binoculars with hopes of finding some birds during Saturday’s Christmas Kids Bird Count held Saturday in Corner Brook thanks to the Humber Natural History Society.

Butt said the whole idea behind the event was getting young people introduced to nature because interest from the adult side of the society has been waning over the past few years.

“Hopefully we can get them to love nature and protect it,” Butt said before the group left for the trail system.

The group gathered at the Sobey’s Community Room before hitting the trail. They were given a short presentation on what kind of birds they could expect to see along the way, such as chickadees and robins, and they were shown how to effectively use a set of binoculars.

Along the trail, a few chickadees were spotted and that piqued the interest of the young ones, but a raft of ducks in the water near the shoreline appeared to be the biggest hit of the day as children and their parents took advantage of a great photo opportunity.

“It’s a lot of fun to go in the woods looking for birds and hanging out with my friends,” said Paddy Bowden during the nature walk along the trail system.

The bird count is important in finding out more about nature. The numbers are used to compare with the ones from the previous year to determine if certain species are losing numbers or rising in numbers. If the numbers are up, Butt said, the environment is actually pretty good, but if they are on the downward spiral it’s important to find out why.

“That’s an indicator of what our natural environment is like,” Butt said.

These young children got a chance to learn birding skills in a social and interactive manner.

Butt believes they are the future protectors of nature, so she was happy to share her wisdom and enthusiasm with a captivated audience.

Sarah Butt, tucked away behind these six youngsters, keeps an eye on things as a raft of ducks caught the attention of those participating in Saturday’s Christmas Kids Bird Count in Corner Brook.
Sarah Butt, tucked away behind these six youngsters, keeps an eye on things as a raft of ducks caught the attention of those participating in Saturday’s Christmas Kids Bird Count in Corner Brook.

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