Friday, September 16, 2011

Virginia Rail and Green Heron on the same day!

Photo taken by John Mellin
On September 2, 2011 one of IEUA's avid bird watchers, John Mellin saw a Virginia Rail in the late afternoon from the covered bridge looking south at the cattail island. This was a life bird for him!! That same day he saw a Green Heron.

Virginia Rail
 A secretive bird of freshwater marshes, the Virginia Rail most often remains hidden in dense vegetation. It possesses many adaptations for moving through its habitat, including a laterally compressed body, long toes, and flexible vertebrae.

Photo taken by John Mellin
Cool Facts
  • The forehead feathers of the Virginia Rail are adapted to withstand wear from pushing through dense marsh vegetation.
  • The Virginia Rail can swim under water, propelling itself with its wings. It swims in this way probably only to flee predators.
  • The Virginia Rail and other rail species have the highest ratio of leg muscles to flight muscles of any birds.
  • The Virginia Rail builds numerous "dummy nests" in addition to the one where eggs are actually laid.

Green Heron
A small, stocky wading bird, the Green Heron is common in wet spots across much of North America. It can be difficult to see as it stands motionless waiting for small fish to approach within striking range, but it frequently announces its presence by its loud squawking.
Cool Facts

  • The Green Heron is one of the few tool-using birds. It commonly drops bait onto the surface of the water and grabs the small fish that are attracted. It uses a variety of baits and lures, including crusts of bread, insects, earthworms, twigs, or feathers.
  • The Green Heron is part of a complex of small herons that sometimes are considered one species. When lumped, they are called Green-backed Heron. When split, they are the Green Heron, the widespread Striated Heron, and the Galapagos Heron.
  • As is typical for many herons, the Green Heron tends to wander after the breeding season is over. Most wanderers probably seek more favorable foraging areas and do not travel far, but occasionally some travel greater distances, with individuals turning up as far as England and France.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

EduGrants! From WEWAC

Earth Day 2011

The purpose of the WEWAC EduGrant program is to improve and supplement academic instruction by providing financial support to teachers seeking to do creative classroom projects that increase students' awareness of the importance of water in Southern California. 

Awards will be granted in amounts up to $750 per project. WEWAC may award up to $11,250 in total grant funding during 2011-2012. 

Focus of Projects

Projects must specifically focus on drinking water issues. They may involve sources of water, environmental issues, water treatment, water quality, water conservation, political or government issues, etc. Creative and unique approaches to water education are highly encouraged.
Earth Day 2011

How to Apply

Complete the grant application form provided. Please limit proposals to three (3) pages. Describe the project in detail, including supportive activities, objectives, and overall benefits to the students. Applicants must show how the EduGrant will help you achieve your goal. An itemized budget must be included for grant consideration. The signatures of both the principal and the teacher are required for all proposals. Grant Application Form

The deadline for the 2011-12 EduGrant is Thursday, November 3, 2011, 5 p.m.

 This can be used for the Chino Creek Wetlands Earth Day Event!!

Earth Day 2011