From June 24 – 29 a group of students and educators gathered at Washington College for intensive birding and sharing of ideas. From as far away as Nevada the group represented 3 states and 6 Maryland Counties the group learned to identify bird species by visual cues, sound, and habitat. Using eBird, they posted and shared data and learned how to access other data. Since the program occurred during breeding season, the participants used breeding atlas protocols to ascertain probability of breeding for observed species.
Craig: Thank you and Dr.Bell again for accommodating me and allowing me to be a part of such an awesome program.Your enthusiasm and support made a good experience even better. I loved getting to see, hear, and learn about birds (especially hearing the bobwhite on the last day) that I wouldn’t normally find out west and meeting other people that are weird about birds like me. I also enjoyed the introduction of eBird, and it will help me stay on top of current birding news and tracking wherever I may go. I have nothing but fond memories of this summer program.
Justine: Maryland Habitats and Birds provided me with one of the most professionally satisfying and enlightening experiences of my career. I learned enough about Maryland birds to give me the confidence and skill for teaching beyond the common feeder birds. Exposure to web-basedcitizen science tools was helpful for learning how to use birds in land management decisions. The instructors worked hard to expose us to a variety of habitats and birds, and enriched our experience with real-life conservation, land management and research situations.
Maya: I LOVED the Maryland Birds and Bird Habitats Field Research in the World of Birds camp sponsored by the Maryland Ornithological Society. I learned so much. The guide book and bird call CD’s have helped me to identify birds. I got to see and hear birds that I never knew existed. My favorite activity was the bird banding activity. I loved seeing a bunch of birds up close. Before that, I had never seen any bird that close before. We got to actually handle the birds. I thought that was really cool! Thanks to all of the teachers.
Philip: The time I spent in the MOS Ornithology Program at Washington College was fun and a great learning experience. I met a lot of very nice people who had the same interests as I did. My favorite part of the program was a trip to the Spocott property. I enjoyed this trip because we were able to explore a rich and nature filled property that had not been disturbed by man. I saw so many interesting birds up close in their habitat; birds that I had never seen before. Not only did I learn a great deal about birds, I also learned how to help improve the environment and how important this is for the continuing existence of birds and nature. This trip opened my eyes to new information which will help me become a better birder. I highly recommend this camp to anyone who loves birds, animals, or nature.
Callum: I found the highlight of the MOS Summer program to be the Grasshopper Sparrow banding at Chino Farms. While I had previously heard the sparrows’ high-pitched, buzzy song, and caught brief glimpses of them at a distance, I had never gotten to observe one up close. I thought it was very interesting how the birds are tracked using radio transmitters and GPS coordinates, and how the grassland restoration project is creating specialized habitat for so many birds. Although we only banded one Grasshopper sparrow, we saw many other species, including Dickcissels, Northern Bobwhites, and Field Sparrows. Combining the field work, habitat study, and technology that we had studied all week, the visit to Chino Farms was a perfect conclusion to the summer program.