Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Children are born scientists

"Children are born scientists. They're curious about everything around them. What happens? We spend the first years of their lives teaching them to walk and talk. And we spend the rest of their lives telling them to shut up and sit down. Imagine what kind of kids we'd have if we had scientifically literate adults." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

Rather than our normal banding, this week we're helping run a science camp for elementary children. We are banding on campus and showing local kids what we do with birds.

The close-to-campus location hasn't heeded us from some great catches- though capture rates go down day-by-day. Birds grow savvy, this is why we don't usually band at the same location within the same week. 

First of the summer catches:

Gold finch male
Northern waterthrush- an unusual bird for the field habitat we were in.

Female indigo bunting

Traces of blue in bunting tail

Juvenile robin

The children we've hosted have been very curious. This has led to many interruptions and many good questions.
 Bishop was even prompted to teach one class about the nictitating membrane. This is  a translucent eyelid birds can close to protect against flying through branches. 
Reptiles have these membranes as well as a few mammals. Even humans have useless nictitating membranes- the small pink bits in the corner of our eyes.

A deer in the background watches Bishop work on a net. Hopefully it knows better than to run through one. 
Common whitetail 

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