So, our church has a number of home-schooling families, and so we have a pretty good home-school group, too! We try to plan at least one activity per month, and this month, on Friday, September 6, 2013 we had a wonderful Birds of Prey presentation, given by the organization “On a Wing And a Prayer”, a wild bird rehabilitation educational program. The presenters were Mikal Deese, CWR and Steve McKibbin. They can be reached at:
Mikal Deese: POB 29, Corrales, NM
Steve McKibbin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is most of the group waiting for them to get here . . . they were SO good, having been warned ahead of time that we needed to be in our seats and being quiet when the presenters arrived, so as not to frighten the birds.
I think they did an awesome job staying calm, too! 🙂
We did not know what kinds of birds would be brought, having been told that it would depend upon which ones were being well-behaved that day. MY kids were hoping for owls, as we have had plans to do an owl lap-book. However, I have found a nice (free!) Birds of Prey lap-book here, and since they brought both hawks and owls for the presentation, along with the fact that we’ve done other lap-books from homeschoolshare and had a good time with them, I think we’ll use this one this time around. We’ll also be dissecting owl pellets that I had purchased some time ago, even before we moved here to New Mexico, so the boys are definitely looking forward to that, now that I have also gone to the Dollar Tree for the supplies needed for doing them. Be watching for an upcoming post about the lap-book and the dissection! 🙂
Here is Mikal Deese, laying out a large tarp, just in case, lol!
First up, we had the Swainson’s Hawk.
She’s quite beautiful, isn’t she?
Next, we saw a Red Tailed Hawk . . .
Then the Barn Owl . . .
The children were fascinated by the Barn Owl, which is just gorgeous! They thought it was very cool that the barn owl can fly silently, and were surprised to find out that this large bird weighed only about one and a half pounds, being mostly feathers and hollow bones.
Here we have Steve McKibbin holding the tiny Burrowing Owl, which nests in a hole in the ground.
We very much enjoyed this presentation! Ms. Deese and Mr. McKibbin were SO patient with all of the questions the children (and the parents, too, actually!) asked, and spent a lot of time answering them. I was pleased to see how many questions that our children were able to give correct answers to when the presenters asked them if they had any idea why something was so about a particular bird, and I was told afterward by the mom who organized the whole thing (thank you, Holly!) that Ms. Deese and Mr. McKibbin really complemented our children on being so well-behaved, and especially on the fact that they were willing to ask questions. 🙂
If your home-school group is local to this area, you should give them a call, it’s well worth your time, and the cost was truly negligible. All they asked us for was $5.00 per family to help cover the cost of food for the birds and transporting them. As Ms. Deese said in her presentation, this is NOT a career move, it’s a labor of love, and one does not make a living as a wild bird rehabilitator. And we could certainly tell how much they love doing this, too!
So, that’s what we did for science last week!
After the presentation, we went to a local park to have a picnic lunch and some play time . . .
We had a very good day! 🙂
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