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When I Grow Up: I Want to Be a Birdwatcher - Terry Townshend talks turkey at the Canadian International School

UK native Terry Townshend moved to Beijing in 2010 and is the founder of Birding Beijing (, a website that celebrates birds found in and around the capital.Townshend is a regular contributor to the Beijing Birdwatching Society lecture series and delivered the keynote lecture earlier this year at the National Zoological Museum in celebration of China’s National Bird Day. A passionate conservationist, Townshend spearheads efforts to save some of China’s most endangered birds, dedicating time to educating children and visitors about birds and learning about and caring for the environment. Students from Canadian International School (CISB) asked him their most pressing ornithological questions.

Schooled: My Pet - Daystar students write about animal friends, both real and imagined

“Mom, can we get a pet?” This is a question most parents have probably heard at least once. Many agree that having a pet during childhood is a special experience; animals both big and small offer a unique kind of companionship to kids. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, keeping pets can aid a child’s development as they learn invaluable life skills such as patience, responsibility, and empathy. For our animal-themed issue, we asked Grade 3 students at Daystar Academy to write about their family pets. Students without pets were also able to get in on the fun by imagining stories about fictitious pets of their own.

Alternate Routes: The Boys and Girls of Summer - Keeping the love of baseball alive in China

I did not expect how much we would miss baseball the first summer we lived in China.When I was packing my suitcases that winter, I didn’t even bother to include baseball gear. Myles was then only 3 years old, a little young for organized ball – not that I was aware of any to be had in Shenzhen anyway. Besides, I wasn’t sure what it might signal about us if I clung to seemingly extraneous bits of our American culture. It would soon become apparent how much we really needed to keep some baseball with us.

Beijing Baba: Where the Wild Things Are - Developing an appreciation for everything that hops, slithers, and crawls


Since we live over 5,500 miles from our homeland, an annual pilgrimage is in order if for no other reason than to give the grandparents some quality time with their grandkids. Beyond the appeal of spending time with family and friends, another reason we continue to return to Oregon for “holidays” is to allow the kids to establish a stronger connection with nature – or at least with animals.

Vegging Out: Nutritionist Stella Chan Marinaro discusses going meat-free

Meat-free diets are gaining in popularity worldwide. In particular, the Meatless Monday movement has taken off in countries like the US, UK and Australia. Many people are motivated by the purported health benefits of a plant-based diet; although there is plenty of research to show that they can lead to a lowered risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many cancers, a badly planned meat-free diet has the potential to cause vitamin, mineral, and macronutrient deficiencies.

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