Blogs and News - St George's School For Girls, Edinburgh

02 Feb 2017
RSPB Visit Primary 5

On Thursday 26th January, Laura and Millie from the RSPB came to visit Primary 5. The RSPB stands for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It is a charity that helps to look after the environment in order to help birds. Our session started with a talk about different species and we had to try to identify lots of types of birds using pictures. Laura told us that the charity helps to protect birds' habitats as well as researching what breeds of birds are living in which areas of the country. She said the best way for them to gather this information is to get the public, and in particular schools, to count the birds in their gardens and grounds. The weekend of the 27th January was to be the RSPB Big Bird Watch so we needed to learn counting techniques, in order to prepare for our Outdoor Learning homework!

When we went outside, Laura and Millie told us how to identify different kinds of birds and we were all given a sheet for tallying up the number of birds that we saw, with pictures of different species to help us. We learnt the importance of avoiding double counting through a fun game. Some of us had to be ornithologists observing birds, whilst five other girls pretended to be birds running around us. We had to record the number of 'birds' we could see. Then more 'birds' were put into the game and we had to count how many new 'birds' there were! It was quite hard to make sure we did not count the same girls twice when they were moving so fast. Eventually, the whole year group were flapping about and it was super difficult! The lesson was that, when we did the real Big Bird Watch, we should only count the largest number of birds in a group of the same species so that we did not count the same bird twice by accident.

Next, we had the chance to put our newly learnt skills to the test as we recorded what birds we could see in both the Junior School grass playground and in the Fantastical Forest. We discovered that the most popular species of birds that we have at St George's just now were Feral Pigeons, Gulls and Magpies. We also saw some Blackbirds, Blue Tits, Robins, Carrion Crows, a Sparrow and even a Wagtail!

For our final activity, we all had to pretend to be Blue Tits looking for water, food, a safe habitat and friends and family. Did you know Blue Tits leave their nest around 1000 times per day to search for these items? We could not imagine doing that much exercise! It was hard work 'flying' around searching - but it became even harder when the teachers became predators trying to catch us! We learnt that it is important for us all to try to give birds a home, lay out food and water, and keep our environment eco-friendly, if we want to preserve the many different species of birds in the UK.

It was a great session and it helped us in our work towards the 'Helping the Environment' module of our Natural Connections Level One Award. We all really enjoyed conducting our own observations in our gardens at home over the weekend and you can find out more about the RSPB Big Bird Watch on their website. We look forward to logging our results.

 

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