An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

Learning to fly - Volunteer experience

I was in my local park recently and saw two magpies teaching their babies how to fly. Normally, I would probably notice it briefly in passing and then move on, but being part of ClimateWatch gave me an excuse to sit down and really take note of what was going on. For about 20 minutes I sat and watched as the parents called to their offspring, encouraging them down to the ground and then back up into the trees.

The babies were just beautiful - they were waddling as fast as they could, like fat little aeroplanes trying to take off, stretching out their wings very tentatively and pushing their beaks to the wind just like a child pretending to fly would do. I could see how difficult this whole process was for them, and how frightening it was too. All of a sudden, you're out of your cosy nest and it's learn to fly...or else.

It's easy to just walk past and not realise any of these really incredible things are happening around you, especially when you're in the middle of the city, but ClimateWatch gives you the opportunity to just stop, sit and appreciate it.

By Justine Webse, ClimateWatch volunteer.