During the annual Christmas Bird Count this past December, a small group of Wood Middle School students and their families identified and reported a more than 100 species of birds across the island.
The Christmas Count takes place every year around the world. Alameda members of the Golden Gate Bird Alliance invited the Wood students this year, as an extension of a partnership they began during the pandemic.
Participants fanned out over various locations around Alameda, and even though it was raining and cold that day, persevered to identify and report 113 different bird species within the Alameda city limits, including shore and wading birds, perching birds, and raptor species.
"This count is not just for fun, but it also provides valuable data to scientists who are tracking bird populations worldwide," says Doug Henderson, an Alameda resident, community birder, and this year's organizer of the Alameda count. "We hope to grow the Wood Middle School participation in the Christmas Bird Count in the coming years. We hope this is just the beginning."
Science teacher, Marci Nettles organized the trip. Nettles first partnered with local birders during the pandemic, when Henderson helped her create outdoor lessons for Wood 6th graders at Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary. This evolved into regular bird-watching sessions on Saturday mornings. Now all grade levels at Wood are involved.
"We have been so fortunate to have community birding partners like Doug Henderson, Marjorie Powell, and Jeff Menker helping us to nurture our birding program at WMS", Nettles says.
Notes Sho Kuroiwa, "We found lots of species at the marshy area next to Estuary Park . It was a really wet morning, but fun too."