Cailey Klasson holds a pigeon while curious kids such as Wesley Collette, 4, of St. Petersburg, pet it.
Chinese Owl. Fantail. Starling. To some people, they’re just pigeons, but to Bill Burnside, they’re so much more. Monday afternoon, he shared his knowledge with about 20 kids and almost as many adults at the Gulfport Public Library’s Science Club.
Burnside, a pigeon handler who travels around the state to educate people about pigeons, gave each of the 18 kids in attendance a pigeon band, usually found around a bird’s leg. He taught everyone how to read a pigeon band so that if they found a banded pigeon they would know whom to contact.
Science Club members also had the chance to pet one of the 15 unusually plumed birds.
The club welcomes grade school students, although younger and older attendees often drop in as well, says Cailey Kalsson, the Gulfport youth librarian. It is free to everyone, although this summer the science-themed reading program will take its place. The Circle of Friends of the Gulfport Library has funded the summer reading program, Klasson says.
The library will kick off its summer reading program at 3 p.m. on June 9. Mad Science will be there for the kickoff with hands-on, kids-safe experiments. Call 727-893-1133 for more information.