BUILDING OFF A VISIT WITH RAPTORS
Urbana Middle School 6th graders enjoyed a special visit from the Illinois Raptor Program as they observed birds of prey, including an Illinois Barn Owl, Red Tail Hawk, Peregrine Falcon and Bald Eagle. Presenters from the University of Illinois explained how the health of birds relates directly to the health of the surrounding environment. They also stressed the importance of students getting out into nature to see and appreciate these animals.
One student said, “I really liked how the Barn Owl flew from one side to the other. My favorite bird was the Peregrine Falcon because it is really fast. I learned that the Peregrine Falcon can nose dive up to 242mph.”
The school visit was funded by a grant from Ameren Illinois, and classroom teacher Leslie McClintock supplemented the visit with classroom resources she purchased through an It’s My I.D.E.A. grant. McClintock’s students expanded their learning by dissecting owl pellets (regurgitated castings which include undigested fur, feathers, bones and teeth of other animals) and gathering more information from raptor videos.
“Thanks for letting us have the experience of seeing these beautiful birds. I hope the birds live a long life and get to let other kids see their beauty.”-MacKenzie, 6th grade student at UMS.