21 Jun LEARNING FROM THE SWIFTS/SPAIN
In our school of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, this year we continue to develop the interdisciplinary project ReparaMundi. One of the objectives that we propose is to know biodiversity, the different ecosystems and the close relationship that we have with our Common Home. We put it into practice through three actions:
- The study of our Urbanatural method, urban and natural at the same time
2. Consideration of birds as a reliable indicator for knowing the state of conservation in the different ecosystems of the planet
3. Development of the project VENCEJOS MEDIANEROS
Vencejos Medianeros consists of observation and following of the pallid swift (apus pallidus) from the educational aspect. Specifically, a colony composed of 12 or 13 pairs that are nesting next to our classrooms. A living experience for our students and for a large part of the educational community.
Swifts are the most airborne birds that exist. They are aerodynamic, with large pointed wings, consummate and tireless flyers. They can copulate and even sleep in flight. Their small claws, or “clamping feet” are not useful for perching, and therefore they are only seen in flight. They eat insects which they capture at a height of 1 km or more. They breed in the cavities of buildings in cities and towns or in rocky walls. We can hear their cries and observe them easily in the early hours of the morning and at sunset, when they join in large groups or circles during the summer season (March – October). Like most birds, they are migratory and go to Africa to spend the winter.
With the swifts we try to be connected to our ecosystem, to the urban nature to which our school or neighborhood belongs. All of this thanks to the employment of active methodologies, through direct observation, data collection, and many other activities that allow us to continue bringing what we are learning into the classrooms. Of course, without forgetting that it is a basic tool with which we continue to chart the course to a raised awareness, recognition of the socio-environmental problem which climate change poses.
We tell our students that these are magical birds because they are capable of living in the air, in the highest heavens, and they are the masters of the wind…. With this project we can transmit love and passion for these birds and, by extension, for nature. Through them the students can discover the life that surrounds them, and also become aware of the deterioration that our planet is undergoing. To know its inhabitants is to love and protect nature, in this case the Urban-natural environment, or urban nature that can go unnoticed because of lack of knowledge on the part of many inhabitants of the large city.
Thanks to the interest of SEO/BirdLife for the project and the effort of our school to adapt to the new technologies, by using a webcam we are able to transmit, live from their nests, the life of a pair of swifts. This lets us demonstrate this treasure that we have in our school. To be able to monitor them 24 hours a day; how they vie for space in the nest, how they incubate and feed their fledglings, how they grow and sprout feathers; it is marvelous to observe nature up close. A wonderful opportunity to show the life and habits of these birds. A stupendous instrument for the students, who from their houses and classrooms can follow the growth of the fledglings, since this way they can follow different nests through annotations.
“Vencejos Medianeros, por el cuidado y el respeto del medio ambiente”
Click the link to watch the livestream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCfdem4XpsQ
Follow us on our social networks: @EsclavasJerez
And in the hashtags: #VencejosMedianeros and #WebcamVencejo
Ignacio Quevedo y José Nieto
Teachers, Colegio Esclavas SCJ – Jerez