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A Winter Birding Adventure on Easy Street

Last Friday, our homeschool birding class embarked on an exciting journey aboard Easy Street in Greenport, New York. Equipped with binoculars, field guides, and a deep sense of curiosity, our group of enthusiastic students set out to explore the world of winter ducks. It was a day filled with thrilling birdwatching, discoveries, and valuable lessons in bird identification.

The day began with a brief introduction to the essential tools of a birder's trade – binoculars and field guides. We showed the students how to adjust their binoculars for clear viewing, emphasizing the importance of steadying their hands and focusing on the details. The field guides and customized "Bird Books" provided a wealth of information on the different species of winter ducks we might encounter, and provided a log for students to keep track of which birds they've encountered.

As we ventured from Sterling Harbor to Orient Harbor and around the point, our young birdwatchers were in for a treat. This time of year is a fantastic time to observe a wide variety of ducks as they begin to arrive in Greenports warmer waters where they spend the winter. Our students were quick to spot their first few ducks, and excitement was palpable as they identified their feathered subjects. Among the highlights were scoters, loons, and cormorants, each displaying unique behaviors and plumage. The children were keen observers, asking questions and exchanging information, which enriched the learning experience.

To document our birding adventure and contribute to citizen science, we decided to keep a ship's log of the birds we encountered. Our birding class's enthusiasm for recording bird data culminated in our contribution to the eBird citizen science database. In total, we logged an impressive 98 birds. Our observations will assist researchers and conservationists in better understanding the patterns and populations of these winter ducks. This sense of purpose added an extra layer of significance to our adventure.

Our day on Easy Street was more than just a birding class; it was a hands-on journey through the world of winter ducks. The students left with newfound knowledge about bird identification, the use of binoculars and field guides, and an appreciation for the beauty of the avian world. We hope that our experience inspires these young birdwatchers to continue exploring the natural world and to become life-long birdwatchers.



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