Tag Archives: Birds in Schools

Birds in Schools

Birds in Schools continues to build momentum in Melbourne. Nine schools, and approximately 460 students, are now participating in the program, which is a joint effort by teachers and students from participating schools, BirdLife staff and volunteers, and local councils. The Birds in Schools program is designed to teach students to identify and survey birds, investigate their habitat requirements, and ultimately, take action to make their school more bird-friendly. The students and teachers involved have been engaged and excited, and are becoming very keen bird-watchers! Our BirdLife volunteers, Bill, Sally, Jacinta, Cody and Melissa have been invaluable on school visits with their birding expertise and enthusiasm.

Action days have now been held at two schools to make the school grounds more bird-friendly. Teachers and students at Spotswood Primary School and Coburg Primary School have put in an enormous effort to learn about birds and their habitats, and decided to have planting days to increase native vegetation to support bird populations. A huge thank you must go to Andrew from Hobsons Bay City Council and Vince from Moreland City Council, who have supported these school plantings through providing local native plants, tree guards and stakes, tools and their expert knowledge and assistance on the days. Thank you also to wonderful BirdLife volunteer, Jacinta, who assisted with the Coburg PS action day

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Students at Spotswood Primary School water their new plants

Many schools are integrating Birds in Schools into other areas of the curriculum and the results are impressive! After learning about the lack of suitable habitat in urban areas, students from grades 5 and 6 from Coburg Primary School and Cornish College have been getting creative with their new knowledge.

Joshua from Coburg Primary School has written a beautiful and educational poem about the importance of native shrubs for our birdlife.

The Spikey Bush – By Joshua

Prickly and harsh but plentiful with flowers,

A sea of pink and green.

Sharp but uncontested for our soaring friends of wings.

Looks can be deceiving,

From nature to raw stone.

Stop and take a look,

For this is our home.

Dion from Cornish College has recorded the class’s observations of a big old eucalyptus tree at their school in a detailed illustration showing Red-rumped Parrots using tree hollows.

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Lily from Cornish College has this to say about their participation in Birds in Schools so far:

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This is me and my friends comparing our survey results.
Birds in Schools is a great program that we all enjoy, so this was really fun.
Lily.

Students from Coburg Primary School have been able to investigate birds that interest them. Evie researched and illustrated this Orange Bellied Parrot.

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Schools all around Australia can participate independently in the Pardalote Package, the first two modules of the program any time by registering at www.birdsinbackyards.net/Birds-Schoolsor contacting birdsinschools@birdlife.org.au

We welcome new schools and volunteers for the program. If you are interested in volunteering for Birds in Schools, or if you are a teacher who is interested in participating in the program, please get in touch with Alex by email at: alexandra.johnson@birdlife.org.au

 

 

 

 

Education activities June 2019

On Saturday 15 June 2019, the City of Boroondara Backyard Biodiversity Program held their final gathering with refreshments and an evaluation of the program. Janet Hand attended and considered this was a very positive program for plants, gardens and birds.  The residents involved in the program landscaped parts of their gardens with input from a landscape gardener and plants from an indigenous nursery after a nature walk by a plant expert.  A bird talk and bird walk by our members preceded this. A win for all.

On Friday, 21 Junet, 18 members of U3A Hawthorn and one American visitor visited East Kew and braved the cold air, the heavy showers and then enjoyed the fabulous rainbows in the sunny breaks in between. Walking down to Kew Billabong was soggy but there was, finally, not only water but even a Dusky Moorhen visiting the area that has been so dry for so long. They also walked along the newish Darebin Creek Trail finding Gang-Gang Cockatoos, hearing a King Parrot, and watching a pair of Wood Ducks exploring a big tree hollow while fighting off noisy Rainbow Lorikeets. Highlights for two members of the group were spotting two different Tawny Frogmouths high in two different gums in an area where Pat hasn’t seen frogmouths before, so hopefully, they will stay around and breed later in the year.  24 species were recorded in total in an area few members of the group had ever visited before and were keen to visit again. Thank you Pat Bingham for leading the walk.

On Friday 28 June, Sally Heeps and Bill Ramsay attended the Birds in Schools program with the Grade 5 at Wooranna Park Primary School in Dandenong North.  They are part of a program run by Alexandra Johnson from BirdLife Australia. She has provided the following information about the program and how you can become part of it too.  Thank you Sally and Bill for being part of this program.

Birds in Schools in Melbourne is well and truly underway! The program is designed to teach students to identify and survey birds, investigate their habitat requirements, and ultimately, take action to make their school more bird-friendly. It’s an enjoyable and rewarding program to be part of for the students, teachers and BirdLife staff and volunteers involved.

During Term 2 BirdLife staff and volunteers (including Bill Ramsay and Sally Heeps) supported teachers with the program, through delivering lessons to students from Grade 1-6 in three schools. At one participating school, eighty Grade 1/2 students have completed the program. They celebrated their learning with an action day planting of native species. The students were so engaged and excited, and are now very keen bird-watchers!

Term 3 is almost booked out with BirdLife and volunteers set to visit seven schools to assist teachers in delivering the program. Thank you to the volunteers that have signed up to help! We still have the following upcoming Birds in Schools lessons, which we require volunteers for:

  • July 17, Coburg Primary School
  • July 31, Coburg Primary School
  • Aug 30, Action Day Coburg Primary School
  • Aug 26, Oak Park Primary School
  • Aug 28, Oak Park Primary School
  • Aug 29, Oak Park Primary School
  • Sept 2, Oak Park Primary School

We will also have new dates to be confirmed for Term 4.

If you are interested in volunteering for Birds in Schools (on the above dates or Term 4 dates TBC), or if you are a teacher who is interested in participating in the program, please get in touch with Alex at:  alexandra.johnson@birdlife.org.au

Janet Hand, BirdLife Melbourne Education Coordinator (Phone: 9842 4177)