2500+ "birds" make an impressive sight on Windsor reserve, Devonport. This is a great opportunity for the "minders of the FLOCK' to talk to the many visitors about the reasons behind the FLOCK, both on the reserve and at special film showings in the Vic cinema.
Sadly each year fewer migratory birds reach NZ. Our endemic shorebirds face threats too, here, rather than overseas.
The students did speak for the birds with their art as did members of the Devonport community.
At the opening ceremony on Friday the poetry and prose from the children was very moving.
The Navy quartet came along to add their support.
While this Shorebird Festival in Devonport is primarily an awareness campaign, people have been very generous, donating to "Noddy" and also by painting a bird to either join the FLOCK or take away to enhance their own garden.
While this is a wonderful event the benefits will only show sometime in the future.
On present trends some of our shorebirds could become close to extinction during the lifetime of these young people Optimistically, efforts like this will see their populations recovering..
There has been positive news of a new FLOCK in Hawkes Bay and maybe one in Whangarei too.
Tourists from around the world are visiting Devonport and some see the possibilities of this approach to shorebird conservation. Let's not hold our breath but there seems to be a real conservation groundswell out there.
One thing has become clear. The number of photos taken of the FLOCK is well above the 2500 birds in it. These pictures are going all around the world.
A HUGE THANKS TO ALL THE CHILDREN WHO SHOW HERE THAT THEY DO CARE!