Colleen Noyes, one of our teacher-naturalists, took to heart the message of our Connecticut State of the Birds 2012 report this week.
The report – titled Where Is the Next Generation of Conservationists Coming From? – argues that kids today spend less time outdoors interacting with nature than previous generations did, and posits that that might have dire implications for conservation when those kids become adults.
The solution is to find ways – as many as possible – to engage kids in the outdoors.
So when Ray Juskiewicz, media club adviser at New Fairfield High, called us and said he was supervising three students who wanted to produce a video about birds of prey for the school’s local access cable TV news, Colleen agreed to talk to them and show them our birds of prey.
The students arrived at our Center at Fairfield around 3 p.m. yesterday – Samantha, Alexander and Luke Saalborn, triplets who are freshmen at New Fairfield High.
They set up their equipment in our birds of prey compound, where raptors who are injured or otherwise incapacitated live in roomy cages and participate in our education programs. One at a time, Colleen brought out our Broad-Winged Hawk, Barn Owl and Peregrine Falcon, perched them on her gloved left hand, and talked about the characteristics of each species and of raptors in general.
Luke Saalborn played the role of TV reporter, while Alexander and Samantha operated the video and audio equipment. Their questions were smart and their demeanor, professional; they were also clearly thrilled to get a close-up look at the hawk, owl and falcon.
Thanks to Colleen’s knowledge of and skill with the birds, and to the enthusiasm of the three students themselves, we’re confident that the next generation of conservationists will include the Saalborn kids.