|Young Mateo helping the Trust Bird Count in Grand Bahama|
|Monday, 09 July 2012 13:19|
FREEPORT, Bahamas -- Young Mateo Lopez is only 11 but he is quickly becoming a leading ornithologist in Grand Bahama. Choosing to work with the Bahamas National Trust for his CAS hours (Creativity, Action and Service in your community), this focused Lucaya International Student watched, recorded and presented his bird count findings to the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) last month.
Lopez logged roughly 30 hours of time on his project over a 5-month period and then created a 22-page power point for his school and the Trust. During the process he also became quite the photographer, borrowing his mother’s camera to record the over 20 species he detailed.
“I enjoyed the count and discovering new birds,” said Mateo. “I discovered I really liked using the camera and taking pictures, I learnt so much and I will continue this volunteer work!”
Cecilia Bodie, GB BNT Manager after receiving Mateo’s in depth presentation noted, "The commitment and dedication exhibited by Mateo is to be commended.
Bird Watching is typically an adult activity and one that The Bahamas National Trust has encouraged young people to become involved in. This is the type of enthusiasm that we love to see in our young people."
Young Mateo was inspired to work with the BNT by his mother’s friend Cheri Wood a local Grand Bahama BNT Volunteer. “Mateo really embraced the project and got me excited about the count and birds,” said Wood, “I am hoping his work with the BNT will inspire others to consider service to the Trust for their community or give others ideas on how they can get involved in volunteer work.”
Mateo was not alone on his counts, he also inspired his parents who often found themselves transporting their son to the beach for counts, or stopping on trips to photograph and record new data. “Mateo really inspired us to appreciate our environment and to respect the birds’ surroundings,” noted Sol Lopez. “Our entire family has become involved in the process. I am very proud of what Mateo did with his hours and that it will help the Trust.”
The data Lopez collected will now be used for additional statistics on current and migrating birds in The Bahamas. Lopez used resources at the Rand Nature Centre, his school and online for indentifying birds he saw on Grand Bahama. He plans to continue his bird watching and hopes others realize the importance of the birds to our community and to our environment.
Lopez presents findings on over 20 bird species
7th Grader Helps the Trust Bird Count in Grand Bahama
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