The final official day of Seabird Camp 2014.
We started the day with a conference call with Sean Russell of the “Stow-It-Don’t –Throw-It” project. It was good to see a young person from another part of the country doing conservation work. Sean told us he did a bunch of conservation and science related camps growing up that led him to the work he is doing now. A bunch of our campers held up their fishing line recycling containers for Sean to see.
“The Population Game” got everyone outside for a chance to run around while learning about the importance of a keystone species and how they effects the populations of other organisms in their ecosystems.
We had a chance to review lots of the information we learned this week during a round of “Seabird Jeopardy.” It was a battle of the OK’s vs. The Seahawks vs. The Puffins that came down to Final Jeopardy. The final Jeopardy answer: A place where wildlife comes first. The question: What is a Wildlife Refuge?
As predicted, the campers were fascinated to see the inside of a Least Auklet. The class dissected nine birds, with small groups each finding many of the essential organs inside the seabirds. We were even able to sex each bird by finding its reproductive organs.
Students learned how difficult it is to incubate and egg during our Murre Egg Relays. One kid from each pair had to balance a paper mache murre egg on his/her feet while the other went fishing for a goldfish cracker on the other side of the room. They had to transfer their eggs from feet to feet, with no hands, to allow their partners to go fishing. This went on until all of the fish were eaten. The next round got tougher when we had three rats scamper through the colony snatching any eggs that fell off feet.
We learned all about the trials and tribulations of being and Alaska seabird biologist during a couple rounds of the unique game called “Chicks and Splatters.” So many good and bad things can happen during the course of a field season….
We ended the day by making t-shirts featuring Tufted Puffin. These “Sea Parrots” are the school mascot. The stencils we used yielded mixed results, but we learned as we went. Most of the kids finished by adding a message to their on their shirts.
Work continued in the evening on our Puffin-shaped Trash Sculpture. Kids stuffed the puffin’s body cavity with a wide variety of beach debris.