Wildlife conservation is about science and field work, and it is also about education, raising awareness, building relationships, caring for one another, and just having fun. Recently in Honduras we combined all of this into an outing with the children of the Miskito village of Mabita.
We began with the idea of doing a parrot count with them. To do a parrot count, it is best to find a clearing with a 360 degree field of vision. Where else better to do that in most towns than in the middle of the soccer field? Almost every town has one. So that is where we went.
First we had to train them in the use of binoculars and Identification.
Then they looked everywhere they could to point out birds flying by.
Some birds were close.
Others were far away as the light drifted away, flying through sun beams and clouds.
While we were counting, others in the village were cooking and preparing a celebratory meal.
Then we all sat down and ate, and afterwards we did some dancing and some sharing, and gave out parrot "Fly Free" wrist bands.
There must be celebration in conservation, otherwise we won't make it through the long haul.