Blaine, Baja and the Arctic may not share much in common, but students in Megan Schutt and Sheri Janzma’s seventh-grade class would say otherwise.
Schutt and Janzma are teaching their students about Blaine's place in the migratory pattern of Brant geese and Blaine's role in their journey.
These small sea geese embark on a far-reaching migration each fall, leaving arctic summer skies for the sunny shores of Mexico's Baja Peninsula. On their return to the Arctic, Brant geese stop by local waters around early spring before continuing northward. Large numbers of Brant geese can are seen this time of year as they stopover to feed and rest along their migratory route.
Blaine students are putting their knowledge to work by joining the eighth annual Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival, which will take place Saturday April 17 in downtown Blaine and Blaine Harbor. To share their knowledge with the community, the students created a migratory maze, representing seven bBant geese stopovers along their migration.
During the festival, kids can learn more and win prized by visiting a representation of each of the seven stopovers on the migratory maze, hosed by area businesses.
At each stop, kids can earn stamps on a festival passport, which can be turned in for a chance to win a scooter donated by Sterling Bank, as well as other prizes.
Blaine elementary students are participating in a poster contest for the festival, coordinated by Glen Tuski. Before the festival, Blaine primary, middle and high school students will attend a talk by Maynard Axelson, president of the Washington Brant foundation. Accompanied by his pet goose “Foreman,” Axelson will present on the migration, habitat, and monitoring program of Brant geese.
Two of Schutt's students are presenting a display on swans for the festival, after getting hands-on experience with an injured swan that was rehabilitated and released into the wild.
Biologist and tundra swan expert Martha Jordon will be presenting at the festival as well.
The day of the festival will be filled with lots of activities for kids, including games, hands-on educational activities, live raptor presentation by Sardis Raptor Center, and several field trips. For more detailed festival information, visit www.blainechamber.com/wow
or call 360-332-4544.