by Bill Mees

The following letter came from Ragan Webb of Columbia Public Schools after the Band With Nature program last month. Many thanks to all who support this program. Following the letter is a list of birds banded and recaptured this year.

Audubon Board and Members-

Thank you so much for your support of CPS Science, especially our Band with Nature Field Trip. This is such an amazing opportunity for our second grade students.

This is an opportunity for students to see actual scientists and see that they are more than just men working in labs in lab coats. It broadens their view of science and what it is. It makes it possible for some of them to see themselves as scientists. In fact, we had a 2nd grader leave this year’s field trip saying “I am a scientist!” This is more valuable than I can express.

Band With Nature is also supported by Raptor Rehab who brought this owl to show the 2nd graders

Second grade teachers are required to teach very specific standards around life science that this field trip helps with. In kindergarten and first grade they begin to look at what a living thing is and what different living things need to survive. First graders even look at how different structures help different organisms survive. That learning is reinforced with this field trip as they look at different birds and the adaptations they have that allow them to live here in Missouri Second graders specifically need to learn how animals help plants reproduce Teachers can make connections to this after students see the different birds that are banded at the bird banding station. The learning that is most impacted by this field trip is the learning around the diversity of life in different habitats Students get to see the diversity of life in the forest! They get to see scientists collect real life data that is helping us understand and monitor the diversity of life there.

I know that watching 7-8 year olds on a field trip sometimes looks like they aren’t getting a lot out of their experience, but when they get back to the classroom and begin to apply what they have learned in their half day field trip, the learning is apparent.

I would like to leave you with just a few quotes that we heard from 2nd graders this year:

“I love nature!”

“Best field trip ever!”

“I am a scientist!”

You are providing an amazing opportunity to our students that connects them to their place. If they are connected to nature and their place they are more likely to take care of it. Thank you for your continued support of this program. Our students are benefiting greatly from this opportunity.

Ragan Webb
K-5 Science Coordinator
Columbia Public Schools

Finalized bird banding data: Here is the summary from the efforts with the 2nd grade program:

We banded 23 new birds:
12 Black-capped Chickadees
6 Northern Cardinals (3 male, 2 female, 1 juvenile)
2 American Robins
2 Red-breasted Nuthatch (1 male, 1 female)
1 Slate-colored Junco
1 White-throated Sparrow

We recaptured 6 birds banded during previous 2nd grade programs:
3 Tufted Titmouse (all from 2021)
3 Black-caped Chickadees (two from 2021, and one of Dana’s from 2019)