Karcultaby students get creative with shorebirds
Karcultaby Area School students enjoyed an afternoon of bird scoping, origami and figurine modelling whilst learning about the threatened Hooded Plover species during shorebird workshops hosted by staff from the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board.
The workshops at Karcultaby are part of a series being held across the Eyre Peninsula to increase awareness of shorebirds, through the Board’s Saltmarsh Threat Abatement and Recovery Project.
This project is delivered by the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
The workshops introduced students to the four types of residential shorebirds found on Eyre Peninsula beaches including the Hooded Plover, as well as their habitat, nesting and breeding characteristics. Threats to the survival rate of Hooded Plovers from young chick to fledgling age were highlighted through a role play activity.
Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board, Landscape Officer Libby Hunt said it was wonderful to see the students relating their summer holiday beach experiences to the role play activity.
“Enabling students to perform the roles of introduced and native predators and every day beach users, enabled an understanding of the fragility of the shorebird lifecycle, and the small changes we can all make to share the beach with shorebirds and give them the greatest chance of survival,” said Ms Hunt.
Students were given the opportunity to undertake tactile learning with laser printed Hooded Plover eggs and a chance to get up close with ‘Stinky’ the taxidermied White-Bellied Sea Eagle. Through sensory discovery students were able to learn about the eagle’s physical adaptations, the crucial role it plays as the apex predator in the food chain and the impact it can have on shorebird population numbers.
Kathryn Heddle from Karcultaby Area School said the hands-on workshops were highly engaging, with students relishing the chance to learn about local species and how to identify them along the coast.
“Students enjoyed using a bird scope, binoculars and field guide to identify local shorebirds in a mock beach setting,” Mrs Heddle said.
“Combining scientific learning techniques with creative activities enabled students to be engaged on all levels and provided them with a lasting connection to the shorebirds.
“It also provided ideas for how the students and their families could make small changes to increase survival rates; and gave them a sense of optimism about the future of the species.”
The final activities of the day enabled students to get their hands dirty and explore the physical attributes of shorebirds through creating mini models of Hooded Plovers and habitat collages using natural materials.
Find out more about our Saltmarsh Threat Abatement and Recovery Project.