Monday, March 19 , 2018, 6:16 am | Fair 39º


Cachuma Lake Nature Center Offers Kid’s-Eye View of Birds

Two days of field birding classes will help children develop an eagle eye for wings

One of the great satisfactions of working with children is when they learn to identify a bird on their own. “There’s a Grebe!” an excited kid yells from a seat on the Lake Cachuma tour boat.

When children are given the tools, they use them with joy, enthusiasm and loud voices! Birding can become a lifetime hobby and is a great way to spend time outdoors.

Kids Learn Birds is a birding class for kids. There are many popular field birding classes for adults in Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley, but few opportunities for children. Cachuma Lake Recreation Area naturalists are very happy to collaborate once again with Cachuma Lake Nature Center docents in offering this field-learning experience to our younger community.

The two-day workshop focuses on several sides of “birding”:

» We learn what makes a bird a bird and not a mammal

» We watch birds outdoors in their own habitats and study how they behave

» We learn how to study birds using games and drawing — birds’ shapes, colors, sizes, habits — to understand how to identify them

» We use field guides showing what birds live in our area

» We use binoculars (provided) to gain technical experience with birding tools

The workshop takes place at Cachuma Lake Recreation Area. On the first day, we start by spending time inside the Nature Center learning bird basics. We then head outdoors to look for birds in various
habitats in the park. After the field trip, we meet back at the Nature Center for snacks and make a list of the birds we identified.

On Day Two, we set out on the pontoon tour boat to “bird watch” around the lake. After our birding boat trip, we head back to the Nature Center to make a list of all the birds we identified, and celebrate with juice and healthy snacks.

Come up to the lake, kids, and learn birds with us!

The workshop is over two days: 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, June 26, and Thursday, June 28. The cost is $15 per child, plus $10 vehicle park entry fee on Day One only. Parents and siblings are welcome to join us on the boat trip on Day Two for an additional fee of $15 adults and $7 children (sorry, no children under 4 years old). Space is limited; please call to sign up. To register or for more information, call Park Naturalists Liz Gaspar or Rosey Godlis at 805.688.4515.

— Liz Gaspar is a Cachuma Lake Recreation Area park naturalist.

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