The Bird Days of Summer

In the flap of a wing, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies’ 2018 Bird Camps are officially over! This summer we hosted over 140 campers, ages 4-17, from all over Colorado. It was a summer filled with laughter, seeing old friends and making new ones, learning and—of course—lots of birds!

Identifying shorebirds at Barr Lake State Park during “The Big Week” camp

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies offered a wide range of programming, from the Wild Nestlings day camps where our 4-5 year olds learn how to play and be comfortable in the outdoors, to our award-winning On The Wing overnight camp experience where 15-17 year olds create their own research project and refine their ornithology skills. Each camp fosters different interests to help campers not only become better birders, but also better stewards of our environment. Along the way, they gain new skills and confidence, and a curiosity about the world around them and their role in it.

Bird Conservancy biologist Erin Strasser show On the Wing campers how she uses drones to capture aerial landscape imagery to aid her study of grassland bird survival rates.

Our overnight camps take place near Estes Park, giving campers a chance to explore the mountains, develop their own research topics and go birding in beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park. Bird Conservancy of the Rockies employees and On The Wing alumni shared their knowledge and experience about bird conservation, why it’s important, and all of the hard work and dedication that goes into successful science and research endeavors. Whether sitting in the field quietly waiting for a Flammulated Owl to call, or in front of a computer working on their scientific research papers, our campers got a well-rounded experience.

Campers learn about the science of bird banding and get a close-up look at a Black-capped Chickadee.

At our Environmental Learning Center at Barr Lake State Park, day campers explored and made connections in our own backyard. The young naturalists spent time exploring the parks’ native prairies, forested edge habitat and the wetlands around the lake. Along the way, they learned how to use birding tools, like binoculars and field guides, to identify the birds they encountered. Special activities and games explored how birds migrate and survive in the wild. During visits to our banding station, campers enjoyed the opportunity to meet scientists and see real science in action, getting up-close-and-personal with Yellow Warblers, House Wrens, Black-capped Chickadees, Bullock’s Orioles and more.

Closing out another season of Taking Flight summer camp with stories around the campfire!

Bird Camp is a magical place for a child to spend their summer days. The experience goes beyond the analytical, encouraging interpersonal connections alongside scientific inquisitiveness. Not only do they fine-tune their observational skills to the world around them, but they also figure out how to work as a team with their peers and grow from their mistakes. At Bird Conservancy, we are proud to help facilitate their journey and support that personal growth.

“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.”- Baba Dioum

Thank you to our camp sponsors!