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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Birding With Cub Scouts

This past Saturday I took two dozen cub scouts and parents birding at Peace Valley Nature Center in Doylestown. The kids had to find 10 species for their scout requirement, and we started off packed into the bird blind. In the 45 minutes we were there, almost everyone got to see at least 10 species, including American Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove, Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Gray Catbird, Blue Jay, House Finch, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and Tufted Titmouse.

Then we walked down to the bridge at the end of Lake Galena and found another 10 species or so...including great looks at Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Mallard, Barn Swallow, Bank Swallow and flyby Turkey Vulture, Cooper's Hawk, and Red-tailed Hawk.

The kids had a good time, as did the adults. I don't think most kids these days get to see this many birds in their entire time growing up, unless they can get someone to show them around. Hopefully the kids will go back and see more with their parents, or pay closer attention wherever they go. You never know what will happen when you open someone's eyes to nature. At the very least, they had a good time, learned a little about the world they live in, and found something interesting that didn't have a computer chip in it. Not bad for a morning of birding. I also had all three of my kids there, and it was a reminder that I need to take them out more as well.

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