First Impressions 2018

The first week of Project Wild America 2018 is already over! The week’s theme was Roger Tory Peterson and birds, and we stuffed quite a bit into it. The crew held up strong and stuck with us, or at least it seemed so, but they will tell you their First Impressions below.

Makenna Graham: The first week of Project Wild America was really interesting and a lot of fun. This is my second year with the program, and it’s really amazing to get to experience the wildlife in our area again. We’ve had several rainy days, and some days that were almost too hot to stand, but we still find productive and fun activities to do and involve the community. This week we did bird banding, turtle trapping, and dragonfly and damselfly catching. We also attended the bike path opening at Chadakoin Park, where we saw many enthusiastic community members eager to explore. Overall, the first week with Project Wild America’s 2018 crew was very fun and I look forward to the adventures we will have throughout the summer!


Picture By Anna Burt of a Meadow Hawk Dragonfly

Abbi Warner: My first week working with Project Wild America was amazing. We went bird banding and turtle trapping. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch any turtles but we did catch about 15 birds. I loved the bird trapping. Holding the different birds in hand, feeling their faint heartbeats was so amazing. I never would have thought I would ever in my whole life hold a wild bird like that. One of the two most beautiful things about holding the birds was that you get to see every little detail up close. The other is letting the bird fly out of your hand and seeing them go back into their natural habitat, free and unleashed. All in all, I’m very excited to expand my experiences with this project in the weeks to come!

Jasmine Buffone: My first week of working as a PWA Youth Ambassador has been completed. It was filled with many new experiences and insights relating to Roger Tory Peterson. Whether it was learning about dragonflies or banding birds at the Chadakoin park we gained knowledge about our community and explored the different species that thrive all around us. We also set up turtle traps and attended the bike path opening


Picture by Abbi Warner of a Garter Snake

ceremony at the Chadakoin park. Everyday brings something unique and fun to learn about. I’m looking forward to exploring the nature that surrounds Jamestown and can’t wait to see what the following weeks bring.

Anna Burt: This past week has been so much fun. I’ve already learned so much about the species of animals and plants all around me that I never took much notice of before Project Wild America. Everything is truly beautiful. We did bird banding earlier this week and we were able to hold the birds in our hands using the bander’s grip, a technique of holding the bird with two fingers curled around the head then the rest of your hand holding the bird’s body. I’ve had so many unique and amazing opportunities so far and it is only week one! I cannot wait to see what these next couple weeks will entail!


Picture By Anna Burt of a Great Crested Flycatcher in a bander’s hold

Leanna Stratton: Our first week was an adventure from sitting in the big halls of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute all the way to walking down the trails of the Chadakoin River. The first two days were setting up and getting to know what the program was all about. Roger was a very interesting guy that explored and loved what nature was about. He studied and logged many different species so that people today could have a better understanding of  nature.


Picture By Abbi Warner of the PWA crew exploring Chadakoin Park

After the first two days we were able to go and explore nature in the new bike trail at Chadakoin River. We set up bird nets and caught many different species of birds. Song Sparrow, Great Crested Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler, Swamp Sparrow, Cardinal, and Yellow Throat are some of the birds we banded and released the first two days. We set in some turtle traps on Friday but unfortunately didn’t get anything. Saturday we wrapped up the weekend at the Farmer’s Market playing Birdo. Overall the week was fun and full of many memorable events. Throughout the weeks to come I hope there will be many more fun and enjoying moments.

Sarah Quadt: The first week of Project Wild America is over, and I can safely say that I am proud to be a PWA Youth Ambassador. Everyday a new challenge awaits, and I love that our team has already accomplished so many different things. We spent Tuesday and Wednesday at RTPI, and learned all about the legacy of Roger Tory Peterson and what we will be doing this summer to embrace what Wild America stands for. On Thursday, we met bright and early at Chadakoin Park for a full day of bird banding and


Picture by Sarah Quadt of a Yellow Warbler

dragonfly/damselfly catching. We learned a lot from the 15-20 birds we caught. I loved when we discovered that there are tropical migrants nesting right here in Jamestown! We also discovered that sometimes, even when you try to let them go, Robins chicks do not want to leave you. Dragonfly and damselfly catching was also a great educational experience. We learned how to properly handle and hold the delicate creatures, and identified some species in our area. On Friday, we met again at 7:30 a.m. for a long day of bird banding and turtle trapping, while also planning on attending the grand opening of the Riverwalk bike path by the mayor.  We learned how to assemble the traps and had our first experience using…waders. They definitely take some getting used to! On Saturday, we were at the farmers market on Cherry street reading to children, playing games, and spreading knowledge about the nature around us to the public. Overall, this first week has taught me to love and appreciate the nature around me, and I want to learn more.




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