Cornwall Elementary School first and second grade classes with OCAS Board members, Ron Payne, Carol Ramsayer and Gary Starr

It’s a recipe for a Bird-a-thon adventure: begin with 18 enthusiastic 1st and 2nd graders, add 2 dedicated teachers, mix in a few helpful parents, and sprinkle with 3 OCAS board members.  Send them off into the morning sun on a real bird walk, to see the birds and their behaviors that they’ve been studying about.  They watched a Red-winged Blackbird touch down on the back of a Red-tailed Hawk.  They listened for birdsong while walking along a country road. They explored different habitats: a wetland, various meadows, and a wooded area.  Several times a flock of Cedar Waxwings perched on nearby trees, giving the children good binocular looks.  The most popular bird was perhaps a Gray Catbird, who sang his mimicry song to a very appreciative audience.  For many that was a “life bird.”  Butterflies, mud, holes in trees, a last-year’s bird nest – so much to explore!  Two hours later it was time to turn around.  But first they gathered on a hillside for a group photo, the distant Adirondacks behind them.   What a beautiful spot!

And so back to Cornwall Elementary they walked, with memories of a fun, happy morning of birding and a list of 32 birds.  With pledges of $2.25 per bird, there was a multiplication problem waiting to be worked on!

– Carol Ramsayer

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