above photo by Sandy Alexander
On Sunday, July 12, Avalonia Town Committee chairperson Beth Sullivan had absolute joy of introducing a new generation of cub Scouts to the newest generation of Purple Martins at the Knox Preserve. She arranged for the Cub Scouts of Pack 37, Stonington, with their parents and even a grandmother, to join her as she monitored the nests and allowed them to peek inside and get a glimpse of new life.
photo by Rick Newton
First a discussion about rules: Listening, staying distanced from each other by staying in small family groups, and wearing masks at all times. The kids were great! Despite being obviously excited, each scout carefully ascended the step ladder to view a number of nests through the gourd’s access hole. They were able to observe babies from their first moment of hatching, through various stages, all the way up to ready-to-fledge. Very gently, they were each allowed to hold a young bird, feel its warmth and observe the pin feathers just coming in. They looked at charts together to determine the age of the little birds. Parents had their chance as well.
With proper instruction and supervision, these youngsters remained COVID-safe yet were able to have a once in a lifetime experience, thanks to Beth and her team of Avalonia volunteers. We are not sure who
had the most fun: the kids, the parents or Beth!
Read more: Some Things Don’t Change by Beth Sullivan
Reading further: Blog posts on purple martins