Today, a lazy, chilly Saturday at the Refuge, was still a great day for what I call "inside" birding. We had a small group of scouts visit the Education Center, and as part of their naturalist requirements - learning about flyways, bird migration and bird identification at a Refuge were the goal of the day. Well - at most times of the year - a lovely wetland walk or drive around the Auto Loop will provide the scouts and leaders with excellent bird viewing and educational opportunities. But what to do on a gray and cold winter day? Bird and learn INSIDE if we must.
Using our 131 photo bird wall - now numbered - the scouts played our Bird ID Quiz game - learning about field marks and beak adaptations while trying to differentiate between a Dunlin and a Western sandpiper, or a Western and Eastern Kingbird. Watching the scouts' and the leader's eyes light up when they correctly identified the Green-winged teal - they're favorite bird of the day - made my day and made up for the less than cooperative weather out of doors. Of course - a view at a lovely female Northern harrier hunting just outside was also a special treat.