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Connolly Ranch, Napa-Solano Audubon Society, Napa County Library and Sonoma Birding have teamed up to host the annual Napa County Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4Kids) age 7-18.
Every year for over a century, tens of thousands of citizen scientists take part in the National Audubon Society’s Annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC), the longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations. This rigorous event generally excludes young children; in an effort to train future generations of citizen scientists in this country-wide endeavor, Connolly Ranch and Napa-Solano Audubon (NSAS), in collaboration with Sonoma Birding, invite families with children ages 7-18 to participate in a special half-day event to learn important, basic elements of this Audubon tradition.
Tom Rusert and Darren Peterie of Sonoma Birding launched CBC4Kids in 2007 and have expanded this program into a national event. The event introduces the next generation of stewards to the importance of birds in the ecosystem, the tradition of annual bird counts, and the fun of getting families outside to exercise and engage with the natural world.
Bird Count participants, ages 7-18, will attend a Binocular Boot Camp at the Napa Public Library, teaching them how to properly use and care for their binoculars. Each child will also receive a bird booklet to help him or her get familiar with birds, and keep a record and tally of what he or she sees in the field. Participants will break into groups led by local birding experts, make a short trip to their field location at various sites in Napa County, and spend 1-1/2 hours in the field discovering and counting birds. Groups will return to the Napa Public Library for lunch and to tally and report on their findings.
All children must be accompanied by an adult at all times, and pre-registration is requested. Participants should wear comfortable hiking shoes, dress in layers, and bring a brown bag lunch and binoculars (if possible). A limited number of loaner binoculars will be available.
When & Where
At Connolly Ranch, kids and families learn about farm life, the role of animals, ecology, sustainability, and an appreciation for nature. We teach organic gardening, the sources and benefits of healthy foods and knowledge of how nature works to sustain us. Connolly Ranch serves over 9,000 visitors each year through events, early-childhood programs, seasonal camps and field trips, serving many underserved schools.
Peggy Connolly’s generous donation allows Connolly Ranch to serve 70 percent of students in the Napa Valley Unified School District. In her will, Connolly donated the property to the Land Trust of Napa County in order to preserve the 13-acre farm from encroaching development. Since 1991, Connolly Ranch has served the Napa Valley as a unique educational center providing hands-on experiences for children of all ages.
With a mission of connecting kids and families to nature through farm-based education, Connolly Ranch aims to encourage the next generation of environmental stewards.