Gabe Cenker (pictured below) is a 9 year old Raptor Fanatic. The Peregrine Falcon is the love of his life and his passion for raptors and birding grew by leaps and bounds after volunteering at the Florida Keys HawkWatch this past October. Gabe has shared that he is very interested in the possibility of becoming a Falconer when he is old enough. He wants to share his love and excitement about birding and the outdoors with other people. Gabe will be writing a monthly feature titled "Adventures with Gabe" for our blog, and we are very excited to have him onboard.
Hi, I’m Gabriel and I love birding! My spark bird [the bird that got Gabe interested in birding] is the Peregrine Falcon. The Peregrine is so fast and can do such cool maneuvers. Do you know that they can actually turn upside down in flight to catch prey? I love birds so much that I started the Young Birders of Brevard, which is a birding group for kids. We will be meeting every month at different locations in Brevard County to teach other kids about birding. I started this group because whenever I went on birding trips or outings, I noticed that there were no kids. So I started this group to get more kids interested in birding. Did you know that birding can be really cool? One of my favorite parts of birding is the challenge of identifying a bird, especially sandpipers or shore birds! Those can be impossible because they might have one difference in their markings to tell them apart! It’s like a treasure hunt, but with birds!
We had our first meeting of the Young Birders of Brevard at the Viera Wetlands on Feb. 28. We had at least 10 kids who came out to explore. I taught them how to identify birds using field guides, and explained about the Wings Over Florida Program. Everyone was given a special packet that had a Jr. Checklist and several birding flyers. After we talked, we took a walk around the wetlands and I helped others identify birds they found.
|American Coots by Gabe Cenker|
Several exciting things happened on our walk. An Osprey dived right in front of us and caught a big fish and landed on a perch nearby. A Crested Caracara also flew right over us, which was pretty cool since he is a rare bird!
|Blue-winged Teal by Gabe Cenker|