Well, today I had to go to class so I arrived at camp in time to wolf down my lunch and join them for a game of Musical Nests - an adapted version of musical chairs where the campers are bluebirds and the chairs their nests - in keeping with the day's theme of Nest Day. There is a second set of players, the hazards, which include snakes, non-natives like starlings, as well as threats like parasites and starvation. They prowl around after the bluebirds have found a nest. It was pretty cute but it was our first time playing it and it was pretty rough. We'll have to refine the game later.
The bluebirds sit waiting while the hazards circle them
They also painted cookies in the shape of nest boxes with edible paints, and played an outdoor game that demonstrated the importance of protecting habitat from fragmentation.
The "nesting pairs" try to hide their eggs well so the cowbirds won't be able to find them
Tomorrow is going to be a great day - it's Raptor Day and the lady from the Orange County Bird of Prey Center will be coming by with her rehabilitated education birds. As a camper I was never alone in feeling that this was one of the highlights of camp. There's nothing so powerful for a child as seeing these beautiful birds close up and personal. It really creates a sense of understanding about the need to protect them and shows the children first-hand the damage things like cars and illegal falconry can have on a bird.
One camper shows off her handiwork