This afternoon we visited a school in Ubatuba and gave a talk to three groups of children totalling 85 in all with 8 teachers. Their ages ranged from around 5 to 12 years of age. We had previously run a course about birds at the school and found the children, even at this young age, to be very receptive to the idea of conservation.
|One of the groups listening to the talk.|
We talked principly about waders of course, about where to find them other than on beaches, about their structure (long legs and bills), about what they eat (incuding bill shapes and structure) and about migration. Of course we also touched on the subject of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper and the youngsters seemed genuinely mortified to think that these birds may disappear forever.
|Introducing a group to Wader Quest|
After this we went and visited the children we worked with in a project called Brincando com Aves
before leaving Brazil last year, it was good to catch up with them again and see how they were progressing and we were glad to hear that they had continued to observe the birds around them and be conscious of their well being. We treated them to a hamburger meal and handed out the presents we had brought for them.
|The Brincando com Aves group|
We talked to them informally about what we are now doing and encouraged them to visit the local beaches and wetlands, especially at migration time to look for the small, unobtrusive birds running around at the water's edge and think about the migrations they had made to get there. We had introduced this subject to them one day during one of our weekly outings when a Pectoral Sandpiper dropped out of the sky and started to feed around a small puddle in front of us.
|The Pectoral Sandpiper that we saw on our outing.|
Although we didn't manage any additions to the list today, we felt quite fulfilled by the productive time we spent with these children in both circumstances and felt we had spread a little more understanding about waders, their lives and their challenges in the world.
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