Do you have a kid artist in the family? A bird or nature lover? Hosting a party for the birds is a one-of-a-kind way to get people actively involved in conservation!
Eight-year-old Eli was inspired to help the Brown-headed Nuthatch after attending a lecture on saving nuthatches at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. After hosting a successful nuthatch box-building party at his local library, he attended an Ambassador Training in Cary, NC and gave a short presentation about nuthatches. Finally, he decided to use art to help birds.
Eli and his mom planned an art party to bring kids together to paint priority species like the Wood Thrush, Piping Plover and Barn Owl.
The party was a huge success, and now their final pieces are making the rounds on public display - first, they were shown in the children’s area of the Chapel Hill Public Library, next at the NC Botanical Gardens as part of their larger exhibit "Saving Our Birds," running March - April 2018.
They're even available on Etsy as a notecard set, the perfect gift for bird lovers who want to help.
Let’s show our kids they can make an impact – and have fun doing it.
Follow these steps to throw the perfect Art Party for Birds.
Step 1: Become an Audubon Ambassador
Audubon NC's Ambassador program educates bird enthusiasts of all ages about the impact of climate change on birds and gives them the tools they need to make positive change. Ambassadors are ready to ACT for our birds! Attend a training if one is open and available near you, or take action on your own schedule!
Step 2: Pick Your Priority Species
Eli selected a number of priority birds to paint with his friends including the Brown-headed Nuthatch, Wood Thrush, Barn Owl, Osprey, Wild Turkey and Piping Plover. He then shared his list with his friends and let them choose which bird they were passionate about painting. This also let them spend time researching their bird in advance! Eli and his mom chose birds from the following lists:
Climate-threatened Species list
Step 3: Pick a Place to Display Your Work
The local library agreed to display the kids’ paintings when they were finished. Eli and his mom also hung a one-page explanation of the threats to the birds they chose with some simple, concrete suggestions for how to help the birds. This fantastic partnership allows local kids to interact with the birds every day!
Step 4: Get a Local Artist and/or Audubon NC Member Involved
Bev Dyer, local artist and avid birder, came to help the kids with their artistic visions. A local New Hope Audubon Society member also spoke about the six birds chosen, the threats facing them and some simple ways to help. Eli even did the nuthatch portion of the talk!
Step 5: PARTY!
Make sure you’ve got plenty of paint supplies, a great photographer and maybe even some snacks beloved by birds and humans alike (sunflower seeds perhaps?). Each participant signed up and paid $10 to attend Eli’s party to cover the cost of art supplies.
Step 6: Share the Results with Your Local Representative
If you got some great photographs of the party and paintings, consider sharing your work with your local government representatives via email, social media or even in-person at an advocacy event. You can help influence policy to protect the birds and maybe even get your work on display in the state capitol (fingers crossed)!
Step 7: Invite Your Friends and Local Community to a Viewing Party
You can either host a viewing party, where you can share details about the birds and your conservation goals, or you can invite your friends and family to visit at their leisure. Make sure you display a sign explaining the purpose of the project!
Step 8: Take the Show on the Road
You can do this too by talking to local government organizations, public space organizations, schools, coffee shops, and community centers.
So what do you think? Seriously considering throwing an art party? We’re here to help!
Contact Kim Brand, Audubon NC Field Organizer, to discuss how your party can make a big difference for birds.