Birders are passionate about birds. Age plays no factor here. From 9 to 99, they love them all and will sometimes go to great lengths to see them. The campers at BRDC’s Ornithology Camp were tough! It was cold (for June) and the days were long but nary a complaint came from a one of them. They were on a mission to see as many species (mostly new ones) as they could in our time together.
We visited multiple habitats where a diverse number of birds could be seen. It’s that life list. A list of all the species one has seen. Everyone added birds to their list! We managed to hear and view nearly 80 species from hummingbirds to bald eagles. Not only did they observe birds all day each day, but we listened for and saw them at night too. We viewed the Center’s resident screech owl and attempted to hear a Northern saw-whet owl.
This camp was the epitome of all that is BRDC. We explored an array of habitats, discovered new birds, and shared it with the world. As rain entered the forecast and our day, we sought shelter in the cottage at the Center. We connected to eBird as citizen scientists and documented our findings in the Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas. Did I mention that they also observed all birds for breeding activity? Well they did that too! It was not just “I see hummingbirds!”, it was “Oh…they are building a nest!” For every species seen, our ornithology campers also noted any type of breeding behavior, be it nest building, food gathering, or singing.
This was an amazing bunch of passionate, knowledgeable young people. We all learned from one another and shared that information lovingly and cheerfully. Our feathered friends are in good hands.
A big THANK YOU shout out to Allen Boynton, Katie Cordle, and Aaron Floyd for all their help during this very special camp!