Concord's Bird Day Centennial event rekindled a Carrick tradition Friday, May 4 and it couldn't be a better day for bird watching in Carrick.
It was a warm sunny day for 75 excited fourth graders at Pittsburgh Concord Elementary School who celebrated the 100th anniversary in Carrick. It was a multi-generational community event in which Carrick High School students and parents worked with fourth graders to assemble75 bird houses and bird feeder treats, learned about neighborhood and national history and strolled around the school looking and learning about different types of birds.
The students also planted a gourd garden to produce natural bird houses next year as Carrick naturalist (and Phillips Park namesake) John M. Phillips did at the turn of the century. The fourth graders learned leadership, character, and relationship-building skills which will help them as they enter their final year at Concord Elementary School.
Robert Mulvihill of the National Aviary of Pittsburgh led groups of children around the school pointing out feathered friends and even observed a "mobbing" of a hawk by other smaller birds. Mobbing is the term used when small birds work together to attack larger predator birds to protect their nests.
Mr. Mulvihill was so impressed with the school's birding and conservation activities that the Aviary is donating binoculars and books to the school.
Robert Stakeley of the Sen. John Heinz History Center was equally impressed with the historical aspects of the day and presented several copies of the Fall 2011 edition of the history center's magazine to the Carrick-Overbrook Historical Society for distribution. Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, along with parents and teachers, helped the students assemble the pre-cut bird house patterns.
The patterns were cut and donated by the Greater Pennsylvania Carpenters Union by their carpenter trainees. Thanks to the efforts of the community-based Carrick-Overbrook Historical Society, Melissa Del Rio and other dedicated Pittsburgh Public School faculty, this tradition has been rediscovered and rekindled, and will be expanded to Pittsburgh Roosevelt next year.