Seabird Camp 2017 Day 220 Jul 2017, by 2017 Seabird Camps in
It was a wild Tuesday on the water at Seabird Youth Network’s Seabird Camp today. Just over 20 middle schoolers, high schoolers, SYN camp instructors, and adult chaperones were able to tour Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge’s R/V Tiglax. We learn about the projects and monitoring camps being conducted and supported by the boat crew. We even spent a few hours surveying the seabirds found on the way to Walrus Island. As was to be expected, many students actively enjoyed getting their sea legs and were able to spot birds, while some of our friends unfortunately were feeling like… a boat biology job on the Bering Sea may not be their top career choice. All students handled being in the boat in rough water responsibly and we thank the Tiglax crew and the YCC crew for keeping us safe and for providing such a great learning opportunity!
The younger aged students toured the R/V Tiglax prior to it departing with the older students. Afterwards they returned to the science room for a lesson on differences between seabirds and landbirds. The kids then measured ingredients and made birdseed wreaths that they will be able to hang by their houses to attract grey crowned rosy finches, snow buntings, and maybe a migrant or two!
Following a yummy snack, the students had an art lesson and creatively drew seabirds on kites and flew those on the playground.
In the time remaining before dismissal they enjoyed some playground games. When asked what games she played, entering 3rd grader Christine Warner reported that they played normal games like “Come Fish Come” and “Send the Wild Horses” but with seabird characters like Eagle & Seagull!
Our new friends from the Commander Islands spent the day receiving tours of the school, seabird colonies, seal rookeries and St. Paul village. Polvina impressed everyone with her enthusiasm and English skills. Sasha borrowed some very large camera equipment for close-up shots of seals and seabirds. Atrem was interested in seeing the “iconic American school lockers.” We learned that Commander Island schools do not have lockers.
The Seabird Camp instructors, Tonia, Ram, & Kendra would like to greatly thank our guest instructors and helper adults Kara, Carla, Veronica, Marsha, & Karin for generously leading the younger student activities while we joined the older students onboard the Tiglax.
The evening ended with a community open house on the boat and a wildlife photography lesson. Community guests on the Tiglax had some delicious halibut spread and aladix made by Kooka Zee Melovidov. Five kids joined Ram for fun evening of seabird photography at Reef Colony and Town Cliffs. Some of the kids struggled at first to even find birds through powerful lenses, but by the end of the evening all took great pics of Red-faced Cormorants and Parakeet Auklets.