Eastern Suffolk BOCES students enrolled in the Animal Science program at the H.B. Ward Career and Technical Center (WCTC) had the opportunity to work with artist and environmental educator from the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, Tonito Valderrama to create a 10-foot wide bird’s nest for the ESBOCES Riverhead campus. Each year, Animal Science teacher Lori Beckmann invites experts and educators from zoos, kennels, research facilities, and wildlife agencies, like the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, to visit and share their knowledge with the students enrolled in the Animal Science course. Tonito was asked to visit ESBOCES because he has studied birds of prey, botany, and Long Island’s varied ecosystems.Ms. Beckmann said, “The nest was constructed from all natural and recycled materials and will serve several purposes including helping staff, students, and visitors to appreciate bird habitats and understand what it takes to make a birds nest.”
Tonito - informational lectureShe added, “It’s important for the students to learn to give back to nature. Building the nests serves as an artistic expression of nature and environmental conversation, and helps the students develop an appreciation for bird habitats.”Students enrolled in the Animal Science program are preparing themselves for animal related careers. The classroom environment simulates procedures performed in veterinary hospitals, grooming shops, and kennel facilities. Ms. Beckmann said, “The course can be used as a college preparatory course for those interested in furthering their education.”Other Career and Technical Career programs enhanced the education by taking part in the birding experience. Preschoolers in the Early Childhood Education program learned about the insects and bugs that birds eat, Culinary Arts students prepared natural treats for participants, and students from the Audio Production program set the mood by playing “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley and nature songs throughout the day.
Early Childhood Education students learn about insects and bugs that birds eat.
Natural treats prepared by the Culinary Arts students.
Audio production students add background music to the event - including everyone's favorite ''Three Little Birds'' by Bob MarleyBirds in and around the ESBOCES Riverhead campus “don’t worry about a thing” now, just like Bob Marley says, “cause every little thing gonna be all right”. The birds now have a new place to come and be safe.