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Columns : Bird Talk - Erika Gates Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Basic Birding Course Students Graduate
By Erika Gates
Dec 6, 2010 - 10:41:39 AM

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Freeport, Grand Bahama - Over the past ten years, during the month of November, the Garden of the Groves in conjunction with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism has been conducting a basic birding course for interested persons of the Grand Bahama community. Over 200 nature and bird enthusiasts have participated in this program which is led by Erika Gates. Erika is a certified Bahamas Birding Guide, has studied Bird Biology with Cornell University and wrote a book in 1998 on the Bahamian Speciality birds and their habitat.

During the course students learn how to use binoculars and how to organize and use their fieldguide for the purpose of bird identification. The course combines classroom and fieldwork and each participants begins keeping a lifelist of all birds observed. This
list leads to an award program whereby they receive "Birds of the Bahamas" certificates issued by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

The graduates also have gained an understanding of the amazing journeys that birds undertake during fall and spring migration. They were  introduced to the terrestrial ecosystems of our island to better understand bird habitat and food sources. Part of the curriculum is information in how they can contribute to bird conservation by converting their own gardens into a bird friendly habitat.

Pictured after presentation of certificates of participation by Erika Gates: Mary and Chuck Seidel, Carlton Wildgoose, Duncan Mullis, Maryann Chamberlain, Gail and Candice Woon, Christopher Baker, Jeffrey Pinder.

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Bird Talk - Erika Gates
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