We started with some exotic birds. Rob Alvo had recently made a birding tour of southern Africa, hitting as many different ecosystems as possible. Surprisingly, we recognized many of the birds, which we ourselves had never seen: weavers, owls, ostriches, and African penguins. Rob asked thought provoking questions that led into issues of conservation.
Then, Rob switching continents, Rob led an exploration of his new book, “Being a Bird in North America.” He had a copy for everyone to peruse. With a different species on every page, and a custom cartoon for every bird, the kids quickly became absorbed in it.
But Rob also read aloud some of the species accounts, and elaborated on them. One of our members, Morgan, asked if she could read out the species that had caught her interest. Each account characterizes the species and summarizes its conservation status and any threats to its survival. We studied the photos and range maps, and discussed as much as time would allow.