Our good friends from the Retzer Nature Center joined us on the Timberwolf Trail to learn about and search for birds. We met all together first to discuss bird adaptation, including feathers, methods of flight, and feet.
Children had hands on explorations with various feathers and many had the opportunity to practice different flight styles, including swooping, gliding, and soaring.
Then, we branched off into two groups. First, we listened to Jane Yolen's classic Owl Moon. The children were quite good owl callers.
We looked closely at an owl specimen to see talons, feathers, and wings and talked about how these amazing creatures use these features as a bird of prey.
Then, it was off to the classroom to get up close to a prey bird, a ring-necked dove named Gracie. While it is not native to Wisconsin, it is a relative of our mourning dove, a regular visitor at the school bird feeders.
It was time to head outside. We went on a bird scavenger hunt, looking for evidence of avian activities with occasional stops to listen for our feathered friends.
We searched up and down and all around, heard a few species (chickadees and mourning doves), and enjoyed our time in nature.
When all was said and done, we had a bag of bird evidence, a list of things we encountered, and many memories to enjoy and use for future investigations.