At The Flyway Adventures, kids celebrate Nebraska Bird Month – Grand Island Independent


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Sonia, Shaela, Lluvia and Marialita Bravo of Grand Island made homemade binoculars Saturday at the Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center. They were with their parents, Honorio and Sonia.
The bird seed feeders that kids made Saturday at the Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center almost made you jealous of a bird’s diet, because a key ingredient was peanut butter.
Kids attending an event called The Flyway Adventures also made something called seed bombs.
A seed bomb is “basically a tiny little ball,” which combines cat litter and native seeds, says Amanda Medaries, who organized the event.
You mix those ingredients together and find a place that could use native seeds, such as a ditch or abandoned yard, Medaries said.
Amanda Medaries, left, helped Makenna Van Winkle and Jemissa Castaneda make origami Saturday at the Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center. Medaries is the Crane Trust’s outreach specialist.
You throw the seed bomb into the area and “let the rain and the animals do their own thing,” she said. The ingredients gradually disperse.
“And you’ll have a native patch of wild flowers,” said Medaries, who is the Crane Trust’s outreach specialist.
In nature, everything is a cycle. “The more flowers and native plants you have, the more insects you’ll have,” she said. The insect population benefits birds.
Those who attended The Flyway Adventures also went on a nature scavenger hunt, made bird masks, spent time coloring and created origami in the shape of sandhill cranes.
They did bird word searches, made their own nature journals, folded flying eagle airplanes and learned a lot about birds.
Cycles are important. At one table, kids could find out about the life cycle of a robin.
If they looked around, kids learned that woodpeckers can eat 2,000 ants in a day, and that a ruby-throated hummingbird flaps its wings 52 times a second.
Mary Ann Niemoth and Lisa Christensen, at right, help kids make bird masks Saturday at the Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center. The first three kids at left are Freya, Jenna and Hannah Matson.
This was the first time that the Crane Trust put on The Flyway Adventures.
Nebraska Game and Parks invited the Crane Trust to have a celebration in May, which is Nebraska Bird Month. “And I thought, “I love birds, let’s do it,” Medaries said.
At the entrance, kids learned about the importance of bird bands. They were assigned a different color depending on which grade they’re in. And they found out about the information contained in each band.
Honorio and Sonia Bravo of Grand Island brought their four daughters to the event. At their table, the girls were busy decorating homemade binoculars. Each binocular consisted of two cardboard toilet paper tubes stuck together.
Honorio and Sonia have been to the Crane Trust a couple of times before. They like to get out and enjoy nature. Their daughters are Shaela, 14, Sonia, 11, Marialita, 10, and Lluvia, 8.
This Hastings family attended The Flyway Adventures Saturday at the Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center. From left are Hannah, Theresa (partially seen), Freya, Janna, Cody and Lucas.
Sharon Zavala brought her two granddaughters. Jemissa Castaneda, 10, and Makenna Van Winkle, 8, are cousins.
Cody and Theresa Matson drove their four kids to the Crane Trust from Hastings. The kids are Lucas, 12, Jenna, 9, Hannah, 7, and Freya, 5.
What other facts could kids learn about our feathered friends? The Andean condor, the world’s heaviest bird, can weigh 27 pounds. And there are about 10,000 bird species in the world.
jeff.bahr@theindependent.com
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Sonia, Shaela, Lluvia and Marialita Bravo of Grand Island made homemade binoculars Saturday at the Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center. They were with their parents, Honorio and Sonia.
Amanda Medaries, left, helped Makenna Van Winkle and Jemissa Castaneda make origami Saturday at the Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center. Medaries is the Crane Trust’s outreach specialist.
Mary Ann Niemoth and Lisa Christensen, at right, help kids make bird masks Saturday at the Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center. The first three kids at left are Freya, Jenna and Hannah Matson.
This Hastings family attended The Flyway Adventures Saturday at the Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center. From left are Hannah, Theresa (partially seen), Freya, Janna, Cody and Lucas.
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