Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Today's Photo

Bird Docents

Title: Bird Docents
One day not too long ago GG was down at Lake Merritt with her binocs checking on things and she ran into Nancy, who was down at the lake to see the locally rare Tufted Duck.

Nancy is our local Extreme Birder Personality. We first met her leading birding field trips for E R Taylor's 4th and 5th graders. She is eccentric to say the least but her heart is in the right place.

Nancy DeStefanis, non-profit executive since 1985, attorney, lecturer, field ornithologist, and community organizer, founded San Francisco Nature Education in 2000. She discovered the first documented nesting of great blue herons in the city of San Francisco in 1993 and monitored the colony for the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory. She was named outstanding volunteer by San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory in 2002 and received the Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2005. She is a firm believer in the philosophy of Mrs. Elizabeth Terwilliger, renowned founder of Marin County environmental education programs for youth: "Teach a child to love nature because adults take care of the things they love." wiki

At this chance meeting Nancy got all excited about Lake Merritt and planned to set up this observation point you see above to help educate the throngs of park goers to the breeding habits of the Double-Crested Cormorant. She recruited GG into this project.
Last Saturday was a huge success and GG was a crucial part of it. While two other volunteers helped children and adults use the spotting scopes, GG did all the talking. Explaining the nesting habits and encouraging the public to come back over the next few Saturdays and watch the hatchlings emerge. She also pointed out the other species found locally and generally promoted the love of Lake Merritt and it's bird refuge.

We're going to miss the next few weekends but will be back down there for the last Saturday. I think they will be lost without G.

1 comment:

Gunnar Berg said...

Ooooo. Uber Bluebill. I grew up as a duckhunter. At the time all those with guns referred to the scaups and ringnecks as bluebills. The word spread fast when the bluebill migration hit in the fall. They decoy well and are slow and easy to hit (by duck standards.

The cormorants ate fish so were treated as winged varmints. The population has bounced back enough that I see them flying over almost every day. Nice. Well ugly, but nice to have alive.

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