Montezuma School Goes Bird Watching

When a group of 15 seven and eight-year-olds become first-time birders for a day, there’s no stopping their curiosity, excitement and all around fun. That’s exactly what happened last week when JC led a group of students from the Montezuma Elementary School on a bird watching outing and nature lesson in the outskirts of the nearby town Cabuya.

Montezuma School Goes Birding - JC's JourneysBirding and Learning

The goal of the day was for the group of first and second grade kids to get an in-depth lesson about four birds they would be sure to see in the area:  Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, and Brown Pelican.

Learning the names of these birds in both Spanish and English, as well as details of the species’ appearance and behavior, the group then got a chance to view the birds through a scope and binoculars. Getting an up-close vMontezuma School Goes Birding - JC's Journeysiew of the birds using these tools piqued interest even more and got the kids excited about the bright colors they could see and compelled them to seek out more and different birds on their own. The kids learned that there were officially 903 species of birds in Costa Rica and spotted a hummingbird which offered a prime opportunity to explain how hummingbirds are great pollinators, and thus the importance of protecting them and all wildlife.

In addition to the many birds kids learned about that day, howler monkeys made a grand appearance, and while these kids are no strangers to the sight of a howler monkey, JC pointed out some interesting facts about them and made his famous howler imitation much to their amusement.

Lessons in Recycling

LMontezuma School Goes Birding - JC's Journeysastly, as part of their final lesson, the kids each received a birding journal crafted from recycled cereal boxes, milk cartons and cardboard to integrate the concepts of recycling and environmental protection for the sake of wildlife conservation. Filled with new knowledge, the group will later jot down details and draw pictures in their journals recalling information from the outing such as the bird’s name, location, diet and migration patterns to reinforce their lesson. But before returning to school, Kevin, a local shuttle operator and driver for the day, encouraged each student to collect a few pieces of rubbish strewn around the beach to deposit it in it’s proper recycling bin back in town. These kids are awesome! We can see that they are truly inspired and already have great respect for the environment and wildlife around them.

Montezuma School Goes Birding - JC's JourneysIn timing with World Responsible Tourism Day, this small outing is just the type of thing we hope to continue doing with Montezuma School and other schools in the area. We love doing tours and sharing this love of nature and environment with visitors from around the world, but it’s just as important for us to share it with those around us every day as well.

Happy World Responsible Tourism Day! And thanks Montezuma School! It was fun spending time with you and we’re sure you will have some things you can teach us next time too. 🙂

See more info about our birding tours here.

 

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Birding in Montezuma, Costa Rica

When the sound of singing tropical birds awakens you at sunrise on your vacation, what better thing to do than wake up with them and do a little bird watching? One of our guide’s favorite pastimes in Montezuma and Nicoya Peninsula (even outside the job), is bird watching. And there are many reasons birding makes for a great activity for all vacationers to the Nicoya Peninsula as well; young, old, couples, families or solo travelers. Here are a few reasons we think bird watching should be at the top of your list of things to do in Montezuma.

1. It’s Fun & Challenging

Birding is like a game, a real life Where’s Waldo or exciting scavenger hunt. Bird watching puts your attention to detail to the test and challenges your ability to spot movement, hear different songs, and put names to what you see. Whether you’re a die hard nature lover or just learning how amazing it can be, you may find yourself feeling like a kid again as you see colorful or rare species for the first time.

2. It’s Educational

Anyone can see beautiful birds and be amused, but you can also learn a lot from birding. Seeing an interesting bird can spark an interest to seek informBirding in Montezuma Costa Rica - JC's Journeysation about what a species eats, where it lives and how it migrates, which can be especially educational for kids. Birders as young as three or four years old can gain a lot of knowledge from bird watching and make for a very productive vacation!

3. Everyone Can Do It

Few tools are needed to be a bird watcher. Of course binoculars or a scope help see more distant or hidden birds, but pretty much anyone can be a bird watcher. Since it’s really not difficult, it’s a great activity for families with group members of varying ages. Even vision or hearing impaired travelers can enjoy this activity by listening for birds’ sounds, or viewing through a telescope if hearing is a challenge.

4. It Helps Conservation Efforts

Birding helps with conservation since it is educational and ensures that visitors gain a respect for the nature and environment they are in. It can also be a very low impact activity for the surrounding environment when you are on natural trails, and ensure you are with a tour company that uses best practices such as not disturbing the wildlife or environment.

5. There’s Lots of Variety

If you like to be different, a birding tour will ensure your vacation will never be exactly like anyone else’s. With 903 bird species in Costa Rica, you are likely to see many different ones than perhaps another group may see, but you’ll always be guaranteed to see something interesting. Here are just a few of the birds we have seen recently around Montezuma. Which do you hope to see on your Costa Rica vacation?

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*All photos by JC Aguirre

See our Bird Lover’s Morning tour to make a reservation for bird watching around Montezuma.