After multiple virtual interactions and online workshops, gathering again for an in-person ‘How to be a Birding Buddy’ workshop was a joy! Held in Kolkata, this workshop was organised in collaboration with the Birdwatchers’ Society (BWS) to align with their School of Birds programme. The workshop was facilitated by Garima Bhatia and Amruta Padgaonkar from the Early Bird team.

A display of various games and flashcards
A display of various games and flashcards | Photo: Pampa Mistri

Most attendees were seasoned bird-watchers, so we went straight into engaging activities tailored to foster connections with kids from diverse backgrounds. Over two half-days, we explored games and art as tools for nature education, had insightful discussions and group activities, and learnt tips and tricks to conduct effective engagements with children.

Kicking off with an engaging introduction and ice-breaker, each participant had to introduce another person with their favourite bird and its call. The Great Hornbill emerged as a popular choice amongst the group. The morning was filled with calls from Oriental Magpie-Robins, Black-hooded Orioles, and Blue-throated Barbets, setting the tone for a vibrant and interactive workshop.

On Day 1, we set the tone for the workshop by going into various aspects of nature education, starting with an insightful introduction to games and art activities that make learning about birds fun and educational. Participants also received tips and tricks on conducting engaging talks. The participants also designed their own bird-themed game based on the situations given to them.

Setting the context of the workshop | Photo: Pampa Mistri
Game Time: Fact or Fiction | Photo: Pampa Mistri

Day 2 was equally enriching, with sessions dedicated to exploring the art of bird walks and leveraging available resources to enhance nature education efforts. The session on bird walks struck multiple conversations around what works for different demographics. The group activity encouraged participants to brainstorm and develop a comprehensive plan for a 2-hour nature engagement programme. We also had a session on innovative approaches to making a meaningful impact.

Tips and tricks on conducting bird walks | Photo: Kanad Baidya
Group Activity: Designing nature engagement programmes

The art activities on both days yielded fascinating results, with participants using their creativity in making squiggle birds, sketching, nature journaling, and creating imaginary birds. One of the participants made an imaginary bird by combining characteristics of a Black-rumped Woodpecker, a White-throated Kingfisher and a Coppersmith Barbet. Another participant, Titash, was so captivated by these activities that he created more imaginary birds even after the workshop – a testament to the workshop’s enduring impact.

The energy and enthusiasm were infectious throughout the workshop, creating an atmosphere of learning and collaboration. The pre and post-workshop surveys had a very heartening response — showcasing a significant positive shift in participants’ confidence levels to conduct nature engagements enriched with art, games, and nature history.

The participants participated in the games and activities while learning insights into enhancing their future nature engagements. Here’s what they had to say:

“I loved how it never got monotonous. The sessions were planned very strategically and the content was kept simple and to the point.”

“Eye opening sessions, interactive, fun. Didn’t have an idea that so much work is being done in our country on nature education. Got a positive optimistic vibe throughout.”

If you want to host a Birding Buddy workshop for your organisation or school, please email us at

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