Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Boy Scout Christmas Bird Count

Eric writes:  As part of the Indianapolis Northeast Christmas Bird Count we include a class for boy scouts to get there Bird Study Merit Badge.  As with any CBC, teams go out and count birds in a 15 mile diameter circle then meet back up for lunch to tally the bird species seen throughout the morning.  The boy scout part of the CBC is set up differently since there are many different requirements for them to get there merit badge.  It consists of classroom time and some field time.

The classroom portion of the merit badge.
As part of the requirement for the merit badge, the group must see and identify 20 species of birds.  This sounds quite simple but becomes more difficult when you have 20 kids trying to see each one, not to mention the constant snow.  We walked around Camp Belzer, a Boy Scout Camp on the Northeast side of Indianapolis, and by the end we were a little worried we weren't going to reach 20 species.  We eventually added a Tufted Titmouse for 19 before deciding to leave and head back to the classroom.  As we were parking a few people noticed a couple sparrows; Song Sparrows, our 20th species!

Song sparrow-our 20th species to complete the merit badge

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