In an effort to engage with the vast number of amateur birdwatchers in the country, Early Bird has been working to network enthusiasts interested in being bird and nature educators. We have conducted more than 15 workshops, called ‘How to be a Birding Buddy’, as training and capacity building for educators, parents and individuals working with children.
In these workshops, we discuss the basic skills required to take birds to children, we also provide the material (print and digital) and tools that go with it. These workshops have taken place in several Indian cities as collaborations, to meet the emerging needs of local groups who help with logistical support and gather interested participants. Birding Buddy sessions are highly interactive and hands-on, a dynamic mix of instructional sessions, games and creative activities as live demonstrations for the educators to directly apply in their sessions back home. We have also facilitated specific workshops for school teachers, some of which ensued as synergies with other organizations such as Azim Premji Foundation, Agastya Foundation and Aakanksha Foundation. Here are some glimpses of our workshops conducted over the last few years.
A year into the pandemic, in March 2021, we converted Birding Buddies into an online format which now takes place as two half day engagements typically spread over a weekend. So far, we have prioritised school teachers who demonstrate a keen interest in birds. The 2021 segment of Birding Buddy featured guest sessions from the Seasonwatch and Nature Classrooms teams. These sessions were recorded in part, and you can watch them below. More Birding Buddy sessions are around the corner, and are announced through our different channels.
We also began an online webinar series called ‘Birding Buddies’ in order to engage long-term with our network of bird educators. We hosted monthly online sessions that each focussed on a specific aspect of nature education, against which backdrop we showcased the work of a panel of 3 to 4 speakers from across the country. A total of 5 sessions were organised from June to October 2022. We restarted the online sessions this year and held the first one on 15 April 2023, titled ‘Challenges in Nature Education’. The theme of the session was to discuss the various challenges nature educators face during their engagements. You can watch the session here.
Learning through Games
Games can be great tools for learning! In this session, Misha Bansal takes you through the various games and activities one can try out to get kids excited about birds and nature.
Tips and tricks: Bird walks and talks
Planning to conduct a bird walk for a group of children or adults? In this session, Garima Bhatia suggests some tips and tricks to keep in mind for a successful outing.
What’s that bird sitting on?
As birdwatchers, we often tend to ignore trees. In this talk, Geetha Ramaswami and Swati Sidhu of Seasonwatch help you understand trees, and also the birds that visit them.