Thousands of people are scouring the Internet for birds as part of Audubon’s Birding the Net social media campaign. If you've been following the conversation on Twitter, you've probably noticed the enthusiasm it's generated. But it's possible that few participants are more passionate than two kids from Louisiana's bayou country: The Hall sisters—Siarah, 11, and Savanah, 12—are avidly involved in the action.
Audubon learned about the girls when Siarah sent an email expressing her excitement. “I have now found 22 birds on Birding the Net and can't wait to go in real life,” she wrote.
The innovative social media campaign has energized the sisters' interest in birds, according to their mother, and they’re planning birding expeditions around their home in the small town of Many, Louisiana.
“The girls and our son, James, have taken after me and are true bird fanatics," said their mother, "We love, love, love birds of all feathers."
Birds represent a new chapter in the girls' lives which have, until recently, been “tumultuous,” according to their mom. In and out of foster care for several years, they only recently saw their adoptions finalized.
Audubon's president, David Yarnold, was delighted to hear their story. “I think all of us at Audubon are humbled to hear that our work has touched the lives of people like Siarah and Savannah,” he says. “We’ve long understood birds to be inspirational and an amazing way for people to come together. But when you see it happening first-hand, it’s really moving," he said, adding, “We hope that Birding the Net is just the beginning of a long and amazing adventure in nature for Siara and Savannah."
The sisters' favorite bird is the brown pelican, which swoops across Birding the Net websites just as it glides over coastal waters near their home. After last year's devastating oil spill in the Gulf, Savanah, then 11, started painting a series of artwork involving two characters she created called Peli and Pelie. "They are a brother and sister Pelican team," said her mother, "She describes [them] as ‘ambassadors’ for all the flighted creatures of the world." Sounds like the sisters could one day fulfill similar roles.