Connect with Corvids

  • Location
    Lakewood, Colorado
  • Status
  • Age Level
    5 to 7 Years
    8 to 10 Years
    11 to 13 Years

The Problem

Help our community understand corvids, particularly crows - their intelligence and role in our urban environment.

Our Plan

Our group is going to gain in-depth knowledge about corvids in our community, particularly crows. We want to know how they adapt to urban environments and how they can best coexist with humans and other animals. We would like to share this information with the community at large, but especially youth. We feel that the more connected our community feels to nature, the more they will be willing to care for all aspects of it. Corvids are highly intelligent and easily identifiable birds, making them interesting and highly visible ambassadors for the environment. We will begin by learning from local and other resources with research and field trips and then share this knowledge through community events specifically designed to engage other youth and also through the use of our website and social media.

Themes Addressed

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    Animal Welfare
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    Community Enhancement
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    Migratory species
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The Benefit

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Here is how the project went:

We started planning this project in February with students mapping our community and determining what they wanted to achieve for their project. They decided they wanted to focus on one group of animals in our community and then did research. Ultimately, they decided that they wanted to help our community learn about corvids. Several facts about Corvids captured their imagination. Among those facts, they were particularly impressed that crows can make tools, remember human faces, and reason as well as a seven-year-old. In their research they also came across this quote: “For the majority of people on the face of the earth, the crow will be the single most oft-encountered native wild animal in their lives.” (Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Crow Planet) Our students believe that crows, along with the rest of the corvid family, are very intelligent and easily identifiable birds, making them interesting and highly visible ambassadors for the environment. Their first goal was to learn more about corvids. They achieved this through individual research, group meetings, and a presentation by the local group Nature’s Educators who brought live corvids and gave us more in-depth knowledge. Using this information, the group developed service and education activities/events to help our community understand ways to improve water quality and conservation. Highlights included: - Outreach through our group’s web page and social media. - Collaborative art display exhibited at local library to illustrate the six species of corvids in our community with educational information. - A student-created journal. Filled with student writing, artwork, and photographs to inspire others to learn more about corvids along with plenty of blank journal pages for others to create their one entries. We wanted to better understand corvids and communicate that information to our community. We all felt that corvids are underappreciated and not well understood by the general public. Helping our community learn about these common birds can help people feel more connected to nature when they see corvids. And we feel that the more connected people feel to nature, the more willing they will be to take care of all aspects of it. We used our grant money to buy art supplies for our community art display and to purchase author copies of the journal our students created. Each student received two journals - one to keep and one to give away. “Connect with Corvids: A Journal to Celebrate Some of the Smartest Birds on Earth” was published on Amazon and is available at cost (not being sold for profit).

Through this project I/we learned:

We learned so much this year! The information we learned about corvids in our community and around the world was eye-opening for students and adults alike. We also learned a new way of sharing information - through a self-published journal on Amazon.

What I/we might change:

This was the first time our group had created a publication for our Roots and Shoots project. It was a very meaningful experience for those that participated and we ended up with a super nice journal that encourages others to think and learn about corvids. If we had come up with this idea sooner over the course of our project, I think we could have gotten a lot more entries and an even better final product.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

Lots of favorite parts - from working together to select our project, seeing our collaborative art project up at the library, meeting corvids up close with Nature’s Educators, and all the different talents exhibited in our published journal.

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

Look for all the different ways you can work towards a goal in your community. There’s always a new and different approach that you haven’t tried before, which is a nice challenge and stretch for your group.

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