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Every spring, migratory birds arrive in the South Island’s braided rivers to breed. Many are threatened or critically endangered, and yet surprisingly few people even know they exist. To draw attention to these unique birds, in 2016 BRaid invited Mainlanders to welcome the arrival of the birds in August and September by creating the ‘braided river wing’ of #TheFlockNZ.
The result was a huge success, with hundreds of people from toddlers to grandparents making brightly coloured birds that appeared in parks and reserves, outside of councils, restaurants, and libraries all over Canterbury from Kaikoura to Mt Cook. One wing appeared at Christchurch International Airport. Another made the Botanical Gardens home for several weeks. Still more spread their colourful wings around art galleries. Since then, the idea has taken flight, as it were, and now schools and community groups are creating their own Flocks to celebrate the arrival of migratory birds to their area.
You can go to the Wild Eyes website and make The Flock as one of your missions...or keep reading!
Cut out members of The Flock using the templates. All you need is some old corflute (old real-estate signs are good – just ask your nearest agent).
Decorate them! This is where you can really show off your creative flair. Use paint, knit a jersey, glue shells or small tiles, add bling, create a mini work of art.
Display your Flock at school, libraries, parks etc. Don’t forget to ask permission from your council or the property owner! The more prominent the location, the better. Remember, the aim is to spread the word so that people living nearby will welcome these amazing birds and take extra special care around them. (HINT: you can stick them in the ground using clean shish-kebab sticks).
Sponsor The Flock. Businesses! Have the Flock land in your premises! Braid is a charitable trust; contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll promote your participation through the Braided Rivers Partnership Project.
Have a great idea about The Flock? Let us know and we’ll share it!