Friday, May 30, 2008

Feeding the Lorikeets

Feeding the lorikeets at The National Aviary.

Last week I was one of the chaperones for Phoebe's 6th grade class trip to Pittsburgh, PA. We had a wonderful time in the city and saw lots of amazing things. The highlight for me was our visit to The National Aviary. And the highlight of our visit to The National Aviary was getting to feed their captive flock of rainbow lorikeets.

The "lories" are parrot relatives native to Australia and from their brilliant colors you might be able to guess why they are called rainbow lorikeets. At the aviary you can buy a small cup of nectar for $3 and hold it firmly while several lorikeets clamber along you arm to lap at the sweet liquid.

Most of the kids in Phoebe's class got to have a lorikeet on their arm during our feeding session. I took loads of images and some video (which won't upload for me today).

The class also joined me in signing and donating a copy of The Young Birder's Guide to the aviary. This was a cool culmination of our years of working on the book together to be able to donate a copy to a place that's dedicated to birds and conservation.

Today is the kids' last day of 6th grade. These same 20 kids, more or less, have been together in school, in the same class, since kindergarten. Next year they'll be mixed in with other 7th graders from other schools at the larger middle school. I'm hoping they'll take away some fond memories of their elementary years and of our time working together on the YBG. Not many 6th graders can say they helped write a book. And not many parents are prouder than I am right now of Phoebe and her classmates.

Phoebe feeding a rainbow lorikeet.

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