Outreach: Minwaashin Lodge

Outing: Minwaashin Lodge

When: August 6th, 2013

Where: Minwaashin Lodge

Activities: Bird hanger craft and Rainbow Crow creation story reading

Beautiful bird window hanger

Beautiful bird window hanger

 

All birds, even those commonly seen around our neighborhoods, are important to larger ecosystems. With the Minwaashin Lodge children we wanted to drive home the message that all animals have value, including the American Crow and the Rock Pigeon, which are examples of birds that tend to be mistreated due to their abundant numbers in city centres.

 

Despite their remarkable eyesight, birds have difficulty seeing window glass. Instead, they see the reflection of the sky and plants, which they interpret as a safe flying area, particularly when startled or threatened. One of the easiest ways to prevent bird window collisions is to break up a window’s reflection by adding decals, hanging crystals or other window decorations. Thus, in order to help the urban birds of the area, the children at Minwaashin Lodge made paper birds, and painted them in unique ways, to later hang them in their home windows.

 

The outing ended with all of the children coming together to listen to a Lenni Lenape tribe creation story, called Rainbow Crow. This is a story of how the crow came to be, and why the crow is such a significant bird. All of the animal characters can be found in the Ottawa region, so we discussed each one and their significance to the environment, all while the children coloured in the beautiful feathers of the Rainbow Crow.

 

This blog was written by Alicia Cuzner and Stephanie Wilson. Alicia and Stephanie are summer interns at Nature Canada focusing on the Lac Deschenes Ottawa River Important Bird Area. They are both university graduates with a specialty in Geography. They are currently enrolled in the Queen’s Concurrent Education Program, and will be certified teachers in April 2014.