South Side Settlement House: Student Conservation Champions

South Side Settlement students look for birds along the Scioto River

South Side Settlement students look for birds along the Scioto RiverOn a sunny, crisp October day, they first listened to stories about conservation champions in history like John James Audubon, Aldo Leopold, Margaret Morse Nice, and even current champions like the members of the newly formed Central Ohio Chapter of Ohio Young Birders Club who recently planned, designed and constructed two bird feeding stations in the front yard of Indianola Informal K-8 School. (These feeding stations will be used by the school students for science projects, literary writing and much more.) 

After learning about some champions past and present, the students got a lesson in binocular skills so that they could observe and count the bird populations and species at SSS and also at the Scioto Audubon Metro Park. They will keep statistics of both areas and as the school year ends, they will do a comparison study of both to discover the differences and similarities of the populations of both areas, thus becoming their own conservation champions as they plan to pass on their findings to Cornell University’s ornithology department.

Their first trip to Scioto Audubon Metro Park was a fruitful mission of discovery when 14 species were identified in little over an hour. Included was an awesome display of flying maneuvers by a belted kingfisher, which was a hit with the kids. Come winter, they will discover the movements of the area’s wildlife by honing their tracking skills as well as continue their bird observation skills. Look to this Web site for further updates on the students’ foray into the field!