"I didn’t know the birds had hollow bones and weighed so little,” sophomore Elizabeth Griffey said.
Four raptors visited Northwestern High School today – the bird kind of raptors.
Volunteers from Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center brought a red-tailed hawk, a barred owl and two eastern screech owls to Dominic Corsini’s science classroom.
More than 60 students watched in awe as the striking raptors were removed from their cloaked cages.
Students learned about the natural history of the birds, human impacts, climate change and raptor and human relationships.
Students also learned about the wildlife refuge, which rehabilitates injured or unhealthy birds so they can be released back into the wild.
Many of the birds at the refuge have injuries from being hit by cars.
“These birds often don’t have any predators. They think they are the top of the food chain – so they are fearless,” Tamarack volunteer Terrie Swanson said. “Keep that in mind as you’re driving, and give them time and room to safely leave the area.”
Volunteers from the refuge have been coming to speak to high school science classes at Northwestern for the last four years.
Swanson said the program helps educate people on things they can do to help keep the raptor population – including several species of owls and eagles – prevalent in the region.
“It makes them aware that our actions do affect wildlife,” Swanson said. “And that animals serve and important part of our ecology.”
Earlier this week Pennsylvania Game Commission Land Management Group Supervisor Shayne Hoachlander spoke to students in Corsini’s AP Environmental Science class.
“It’s nice for students to hear about the things we learn in class from somebody else, someone out in the field,” Corsini said. “It makes it real for the students.”
Check out more photos from the speakers’ visits to Northwestern here: