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Friday, December 2, 2011

Waterfowl Cause a Flap at Fairfield Woods Feature Creature

Waterfowl Cause a Flap at 
Fairfield Woods Feature Creature
By Mike Lauterborn
(for Fairfield Citizen News)

Fairfield, CT – There was a lot of wiggling around, fidgeting and chatter… as well as chirping and croaking. The collective cacophony was all part of Tuesday’s Feature Creature children’s program at Fairfield Woods Branch Library.

Led by Colleen Noyes, a teacher/naturalist at the Connecticut Audubon Society, the monthly attraction typically offers live animals from the center, with which children can interact and learn about. Tuesday’s program focused on waterfowl, and was facilitated with life-sized models of a Green Heron and a Merganser duck, along with an electronic animal sounds device. Over a dozen children, mostly ages 3 to 8, were in attendance, accompanied by their parents or caregivers.

“We get kids familiar with various regional birds, as well as other animals that are mostly native to the region,” said Noyes. “Kids are fun to work with… unpredictable, especially after school. I always get surprise questions. They’re funny, and often very smart. A lot of times the kids know more than I do. You just go with it and let them come up and help.”

Among the gathering was Ali and J.T. Tamayo, with their nanny Sherene Barnett. The children looked on attentively as Noyes pressed different buttons on an audio device to play animal noises and asked the group to guess the animal.

Patty Baron, with her children Sean, 5, and Megan, 8, of Fairfield, said she was a veteran of the programs. “We like to come to see the live animals – like snakes and reptiles,” she said. “We always learn something new.”

No one learned more than seven-year-old Zachary Grignana, however, whom Noyes dressed in garments and accessories that simulate features of a duck: scuba flippers for webbed feet, a vest for the bird’s down layer, goggles to represent a protective eye coating. His get-up sure had fellow participants squawking!

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