A visit from Annwyne and her fine feathered friends!
March 16th, 2015 by admin

By:Tracie Phua


We had an injured bird the previous week and one of our lovely mothers brought it to the Birdwing Centre at Rothesay Bay. Thanks Julie (Luke’s mum) for letting us know that they were happy to visit schools to talk about injured birds and their care. We spoke to Annwyne and she was able to visit us today!


The children attending this morning were informed that we were having special visitors which might include penguins. We discussed how we could help make sure the birds felt safe and the children suggested we could use our quiet voices, listening ears and gentle hands.


Annwyne did a great job describing her fine-feathered friends and how they came to her care. These included a kingfisher, sparrows, a baby tui, a skylark and 3 penguins. We had some excitement as a sparrow flew out our window. Thank goodness for tall mums who came to the rescue and helped get the sparrow back to Annwyne’s gentle hands. A picture writes a thousand words, so here are some photographs of how the 50 minute session went! It was hard to get a photograph of every child, but be assured that all of them enjoyed the visit!





We learned that native penguins had blue feathers and that those living in Antartica had black feathers. We also learned that there were no penguins in the northern hemisphere as the equator was too warm for penguins to get past.


Annwyne told us that we could help care for the birds by not throwing plastics into the sea or “bad stuff” into the drains as these flowed into the sea and harmed the fish and birds. We could also donate old towels or clothes to the centre as these were always needed to care for the birds at the centre. Cash donations are also helpful as the centre receives no funding from the Auckland Council or SPCA. 


We will be asking children if they would like to make donations to the Birdwing Centre. So please donate any old towels, clothes or cash to help our children care for our fellow inhabitants of this glorious planet we have! 


Some of the children have been making cards and drawings to send to Annwyne to thank her for the visit. Here are 2 samples :


Annwyne was very impressed with how attentive the children were and their gentleness in handling the penguins. They also shared their own experiences of seeing penguins at Kelly Tarlton’s and asked some good questions when Annywne shared how we could help care for the birds. One of these was “what if we vomit in the sink”? when Annwyne advised us not to throw “bad stuff” in the drains. She is happy to visit us again in future !

What learning do I think is happening here?

The children have learnt how humans can help injured birds and help them rehabilitate before going back to the wild once they are strong enough. They also learned how to avoid birds getting hurt by taking care of the environment. They practised being gentle with the penguins by gently stroking them on their backs instead of their heads.

Opportunities and possibilities?

We will extend the lessons learnt today, looking at the continent globe and showing the children where the equator, northern and southern hemispheres are. Children have also been interested in looking at our book Native Birds of New Zealand. We can further extend our learning by introducing ecology and ornithology to children who show interest.

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