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Cub Scouts learn about birding at Tarpon Bay

By Staff | May 31, 2011

TBE Naturalist Donna Yetsko, left, gives the eager Fort Myers Cub Scouts an introduction to paddling and boating safety before they head out on the water at Tarpon Bay.

The Cub Scout Wolf Den from Pack 6, St. Michael Lutheran School of Fort Myers working on their Birding Elective and Conservation Achievement explored the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge via kayak with Refuge concessionaire Tarpon Bay Explorers.

Naturalist Donna Yetsko took the group of 24 scouts and parents through the Commodore Creek water trail in Tarpon Bay. Prior to their departure, Donna explained some basic paddling skills, boating safety, and the importance of wearing properly fitting PFD’s (personal flotation devices).

Once on the water, Yetsko taught the group about the mangrove estuary ecosystem here in the Refuge and helped the scouts learn to identify different species of birds. The lucky paddlers saw a good variety of birds including a green heron, great egret, snowy egret and even a swallow tail kite. They were also pretty excited to see little mangrove tree crabs on the trees and especially a mangrove snake in the water.

Scout leader Joe Hobson said that even he learned new things about our local ecosystem and he has been out on the water here for 20 years.

“Everyone really truly had a great time and we will probably come back every year,” Hobson added.

Cub Scouts and their parents surround Naturalist Donna Yetsko in their kayaks as they learn about the ecosystem in the Refuge at Tarpon Bay.

If you would like to learn about the mangrove estuary in the Refuge, join the Explorers for a guided kayak tour at Tarpon Bay. Call 472-8900 or visit www.tarponbayexplorers.com for additional information.