Nearly 40 participants took part in the 16th Great Backyard Bird Count, a Leave No Child Inside-related youth education class with Citizens for Conservation, on a recent blustery and snowy Saturday.
After leaders gave a brief description of the now global bird count, children and caregivers inside Citizens Park Pavilion in Barrington saw their first bird, a red-tailed hawk. Equipped with binoculars and clipboards to tally their birds, everyone began hiking when another red-tailed hawk appeared and circled above with its mate.
During the one-mile hike, participants saw mallard ducks, Canada geese, black-capped chickadees, cardinals, robins, mourning doves, a crow, blackbirds, a third red-tailed hawk, a woodpecker, a cedar wax-wing, and house sparrows for a total of twelve species and 151 birds.
Back inside the warm pavilion, everyone thawed with warm hot chocolate, and local clay artist Liz Zweiner taught the children how to make a clay bird nest and bird. Caregivers and volunteers quickly noted that there were many creative and talented childen making beautifully sculpted nests and birds.
Special thanks was given to Prairie Woods Audubon Society for providing the ever-popular Audubon Adventures activity sheets and to Lake Zurich Jewel-Osco for their contribution of the hot chocolate mix.