Lake George and Saratoga libraries lending new SAAS birding backpacks
Area residents can now easily go birding by borrowing SAAS’s new birding backpacks, available at the Caldwell-Lake George Library and the Saratoga Springs Public Library.
The SAAS board created this project to encourage a new generation of local birders of any age: children, families, and adults.
Each birding backpack contains:
• two pairs of durable 10×42 Celestron Outland binoculars
• Instruction books
• Lens cloths to clean binoculars
• A “Rite in the Rain” birding journal, so users can record interesting things and pass along to the next users
• Birds of New York folding laminated guide, with birding information on common New York birds
• Four Seasons bingo cards and two washable markers
• Birding Adventures for Kids book.
Each backpack has a customized page listing local birding spots for the new birders to visit. Each also contains birding tips and directions for posting bird sightings on Cornell’s online eBird checklist. The bingo cards are aimed at children. On the fall walk bingo card, for example, children can look for a red leaf, a fern, a resting bird, a pine cone and other items in nature.
SAAS treasurer Laurie Murphy organized these items with the advice and assistance of Caldwell-Lake George Library Director Laura Burrows and library assistant Jessica Hunsicker. SAAS hopes to expand the program with four more backpacks. If any SAAS member is interested in donating to cover the program, materials for each new backpack cost just under $200.
“Join Our Flock” for Kids
SAAS debuted our “Join Our Flock” project for kids at the Moreau Lake State Park NatureFest. Kids joined the flock of those who protect birds and their habitats by wearing one of the custom bird masks by Seamingly Sarah and having their photo taken in front of the habitat backdrop. Coloring pages of birds with basic species information were also available to color at the table or take home for later. Adults joined the kids in having their photo taken as part of the flock and it looks like it was a huge hit. Thanks to our SAAS volunteer who staffed the table and took all these photos, but asked to remain anonymous. We hope to take this project on the road to other conservation events in the area.
[Participants photos used with permission.]
SAAS is partnering with the American Bird Conservancy on their “Cats Indoors” Campaign Studies indicate that the 100 million free-roaming cats in the US kill approximately 2.4 BILLION birds every year!
The American Bird Conservancy’s “Cats Indoors” program educates the public on the benefits to cats, birds and people when cats are kept indoors or under direct control of the owner. Did you know that:
- The life expectancy of an outdoor cat is only 2-5 years?
- Well-fed domestic cats kill wildlife?
- Outdoor cats are prone to more disease than indoor cats?
- Outdoor cats often have to defend themselves against wild animals?
Read more about the “Cats Indoors” program here: abcbirds.org/program/cats-indoors/