Orville and Wilbur teamed up with two of their best buds, K and C of the Counter-cultural School, to compete in the Georgia Youth Birding Competition on April 27th and 28th. If you have been reading this blog since its inception, you may remember these little boys.
|Left to right: K, Orville, C & Wilbur|
|Left to right: Orville, K, C & Wilbur|
We finally arrived at the state park at 5:30 p.m., and the boys proved a warm-up was not necessary. They worked together like seasoned professionals! I was so pleased and thankful because Molly (Mom of K and C and CCSchool blogger) and I have worked so hard in past years to help such very little boys to focus and communicate effectively. I could see how these guys are growing in grace and maturity, and I praise God for the work He is accomplishing in them. We left the state park with a total of 34 birds identified (in 1.5 hours) and then drove to a variety of spots in our hometown. At 10 p.m., we were done for the day, and they had brought their total to 43.
Birding began before dawn on Saturday at a lake. As the sun rose, the boys rapidly added to their list, identifying a green heron, bobolinks, killdeer, and a variety of warblers- just to name a few.
|Why do we like birding so much? This picture says it all.|
Our next stop would be a wetlands area, another lake, and a water-treatment facility- all in central Georgia. They quickly hit 70... and then 80... and then 89! As we were walking to our car to leave the wetlands area, they heard a brown-headed cowbird. We left this area with 90 birds on the list! They now refer to the cowbird as the number 90 bird. :)
|One of their favorite spots of the day was this Canada goose and goslings. My boys had visited this spot over spring break with their grandparents and had seen the goose building her nest that day. It was exciting to see the newly-hatched babies.|
|The boys identified these birds while at the water treatment facility.|
At this point, it was getting hot and the birds were becoming scarce. We moved on to another wildlife refuge in central Georgia in hopes of finding 10 more birdies. We were running short on time though and needed to leave for the finish line just as they identified number 99, a Kentucky Warbler.
We took the above picture as we were prepping to leave the wildlife refuge. Moments later, a red-cockaded woodpecker (a rare bird which can only be found in 2 locations in Georgia) sang. The boys had bird number 100! We were overjoyed!!
|Michael gives the boys a last-minute pep talk near the finish line!|
|Coach Michael says, "Everybody look to the left!"|
|Now Coach Michael says, "Everybody look to the right!"|
At the finish line, they identified five more birds, bringing their final total to 105! The last bird heard that day was a Blackburnian Warbler. If you would like to see the full list of birds they identified, click here to be redirected to my birding blog.
|"Now... everybody look silly!"|
|The bald eagle was the highlight of the show.|
The winners were finally announced! The boys were blessed to experience a win in fundraising. They earned more money than any other team in the competition.
|C, Giff Beaton (birding record holder in GA), K, Orville, Tim Keyes (YBC Coordinator), & Wilbur awarding and receiving prizes for a record-setting fundraising total: $625!|
|I am thankful for these guys!|
Praising God, from whom all blessings flow,