The Rolling Plains Chapter Texas Master Naturalist is holding its spring training for new wannabe Master Naturalists or for those who just want to learn more about nature and the environment in our area. I have the opportunity to teach the class on birds and we also have a field trip to teach the fundamentals of bird identification and get to know some of the common birds in our area. This year, the field trip was held at Lake Arrowhead State Park. Terry McKee and Debra Halter also helped the class members identify birds. It's always good to have more eyes and more knowledge when trying to explain, "Why did you say that bird is a .....?"
We didn't have any exciting birds, but we had several of the common ones for our new birdwatchers to cut their teeth. Birds found Saturday morning included: American coot, pied-billed grebe, gadwall, green-winged teal, blue-winged teal, Canada goose, killdeer, least sandpiper, ring-billed gull, ladder-backed woodpecker, barn swallow, Bewick's wren, northern mockingbird, northern cardinal. eastern phoebe, Carolina chickadee, savannah sparrow, song sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, dark-eyed junco, brown-headed cowbird, red-winged blackbird, common grackle, great-tailed grackle, European starling, and house sparrow.
I enjoy working with new birdwatchers. It helps keep the fun in finding a common bird, but seeing it through the eyes of someone who never recognized the birds before.