Alzheimer’s Alliance

July 24th, 2009
Tyler, TX

We had an incredible time during the CUB event, “Making Memories Fly!”
Boyd Sanders, Texas State Parks and Wildlife Bird Specialist, Roger DeHaven (“Wonderful Wednesdays” participant) and a fourth grader from East Texas Christian Academy….bird watching during the event.

participant planting flowers during the event
A man in the early stages of Alzheimer’s joined us for the first time during the event. His family had heard about “Making Memories Fly!” and encouraged him to attend due to his great interest in birding. He seemed to enjoy all of the activities. This event gave his wife an opportunity to take a time of respite to run errands and rest for a few hours for the first time in a long time.

The event began by sharing a “people” bird food snack and talking about where birds find food. Everyone had an answer they wanted to share. Boyd then talked with the group about the birds of our area while sharing a power point slide show.

girls with young plants
The rain held off long enough for us to do the bird observation and gardening. The fourth graders had planted the sunspot sunflower seedlings in advance for us to add to others purchased for the containers. The fourth grade class is doing more bird observation and recording during class within the next week or so and mailing in the postcards due to the rain issue. However, I am happy to report that with Boyd’s help we spotted the following six species just during the 10 minutes or so we were out during the event in the school courtyard and using our binoculars toward the street and powerlines:

  • Scissortail Flycatcher
  • House Sparrow
  • American Robin
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • Killdeer
  • Mourning Dove
  • Birds LOVE East Texas…..and we love having them around!

    participants listen and learn about birds
    Boyd used the plush birds we ordered from the Online Nature Mall that have recorded songs and had a hand-held device with him that we used to match the calls of birds outside to their picture. He was a HUGE help and I believe he loved every minute of it!

    During the last half of the event, the “Wonderful Wednesday” Alzheimer’s Day Club participants enjoyed picking their own bird picture and pasting it on a tree we had hanging on the wall. This bird collage was a fun opportunity for participants to make a choice, use fine motor skills and stretching while pasting the bird in the tree…and a sense of belonging while accomplishing the collage as a group.

    participant pasting artwork

    presenting and explaining a poster of birds

    The bird scrapbook turned out beautifully and will be used for years to come.

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