Our biggest event of the year is just around the corner. Join Earth Spirit for this major fundraiser that enables us to continue bringing quality environmental education to the people of Western New York. See our events page for all the details and registration.
Earth Spirit Expands Programming with Area Recreation Departments
Following a meeting in the Fall of 2014 with area Recreation Department Directors, Earth Spirit has confirmed a series of contracts with the towns of Orchard Park, Aurora , Hamburg and Amherst. The programs that have been scheduled are focused upon both public events for families and ecology camps for students and are available for registration through the aforementioned Town Recreation Departments. Click here for a listing of these programs.
Program Partnership with Erie 2 BOCES
Schools looking to take advantage of the science-based programming offered by Earth Spirit now have the opportunity to do so much more affordably. A new partnership with Erie 2 BOCES allows us to increase our programming while decreasing the school's realized cost per program. Click here for more information.
Environmental Education Teaches Many Skills
Earth Spirit educators share many lessons in their work. Most of these relate to the science and systems that control the workings of Planet Earth. However, many skills that can be applied to all areas of life are passed along through our work. Channel 2's Terry Belke speaks of these important lessons in a 2 the Outdoors piece featuring Earth Spirit teachers and students participating in a recent Winter Camp sponsored by the Orchard Park Recreation Department.
Earth Spirit's Wild Foraging Programs are Making News
Our reputation for excellent instruction in sustainable foraging of wild medicinal and culinary plants has resulted in a cover story for the alumni publication of New York's largest research university. Click here to read this wonderful article that features the work of our Co-Director, Sandy Geffner.
The Time of the Sky Dancer
"American Woodcock" by guizmo_68
Also known as the Timberdoodle, the American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) is a member of the Sandpiper family. The size of a small game bird, the Woodcock is well camouflaged with its brown mottled coloration and is rarely seen. The Woodcock's bill is long to accommodate the hunt for earthworms (its chief diet) and the eyes are placed near the back of the head to allow it to keep heightened vigilence on its surroundings while scavenging for lunch.
It is in the early Spring of the year that this quirky bird begins its mating rituals with the males making a dazzling display in their attempts to woo the gals. Just after sundown, in an open (preferably gravel) area near woodlands, you might hear a male Woodcock "peent" - the sound he makes to signal to the ladies he's about to impress them with his prowess. After a few moments of "peenting", the male will take off in flight spiraling high in the sky. He circles a bit, then dives down creating a whistling sound with his wings. He often will land almost exactly where the ritual "dance" began.
Head out to an open area near the woods in the evening during the next few weeks of Spring and listen for the tell-tale "peenting". Then watch the skies above and enjoy one of the most spectacular of bird displays.