May 1, 2014

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On May 1, we conducted a workshop with students from David Livingstone School and their teacher Jill Fraser. The group consisted of 24 students from Grade 2 & 3. We began the day by visiting the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park. Students were given a checklist to identify more than 30 species of birds inside the conservatory. They were also asked to do some preliminary sketches of the birds and their habitat. The Bloedel Conservatory is home for more than 60 finches, including gouldian, saffron, lavender, cordon bleu and star finches. We talked with the students about the gouldian finches and their status as endangered species. Factors related to the decline of gouldian finches in the wild include the reduction or alteration of their habitats, but primarily because they are among the most popular pet birds, and are bred in captivity for the caged bird industry.

We then continued the workshop at the Arts & Craft room of Hillcrest Community Centre. We addressed issues birds face in the urban environment. Bird collisions with buildings are said to be the leading cause of death for migratory birds and the 2nd greatest cause of bird fatality, aside from habitat destruction. We asked students to paint birds and plants on sheets of acetate. Placed on windows, these sheets act as bird deterrents. The artworks are currently under exhibit in the lobby of the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre as part of Vancouver Bird Week until May 13, 2014.

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