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General News · 29th April 2020
Christine Robinson
What a great Cortes focus on our feathered friends in the next few days!!!

“I am fierce & swift;
Song birds tremble in my presence;
I am heard more often than seen and return to Whaletown every spring;
Who am I?” (answer below, but guess first)

CIMAS is sponsoring the annual spring bird count on Saturday, May 2, which is a species count.
A species count is a family-friendly event because it is much simpler to note the different species seen, without the additional challenge of also counting numbers of birds seen.

The Children’s Forest Trust usually organizes an annual BioBlitz on the first weekend in May, so here is a fun and simple activity in its place. Collect a pair or two of family binoculars, a birding field guide, and head out into your backyard or your favourite hiking trail and get to know who your feathered neighbours are. Clearings & beaches provide good visibility and seabirds are generally easier to see. Children of all ages have great sight and often note details of colour and markings, so even if they can’t name the species, they can help narrow the options.

You could be very ambitious and go birding for a 24-hour time period, but even an hour of enthusiastic birding may produce a surprising number of species and possibly a rare sighting.
Compile your list and forward it to CIMAS with spring bird count in the subject line. The Museum is also calling out for photos and butterfly sightings.

The Children’s Forest Trust and the CCHA Family Support will be hosting a zoom chat next week with children to share their findings, bird stories, photos or drawings.

(answer – Merlins are a small hawk, 11 inches in length, which feeds almost exclusively on small birds which they capture in mid-flight, but they will not hesitate to successfully prey on robins almost the same size.)