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Bedford Village Fifth Graders Gain First-Hand Knowledge on Birds and Raptors

BVES - Birds of Prey - Red-Tailed Hawk Wingspan

Fifth graders at Bedford Village Elementary School got a little treat this week as PNW BOCES’s Center for Environmental Education (CEE) came for a visit to teach students about birds and raptors.

A bird guide visited individual classrooms, introducing students to birds’ unique characteristics. They examined feathers, listened to different birdcalls and learned about bird adaptations like feathers, beaks and talons. Students had the opportunity to examine preserved bird specimens and even got to meet a live ambassador bird of prey.

As they huddled together on the mat at the front of their classroom, students gasped in excitement when the bird guide pulled a red-tailed hawk from her crate. Her large wings flapped from time to time, exciting students further as they learned how CEE got the big bird of prey. She was injured, probably while hunting mice, and because her wing never fully rehabilitated, she stayed on for educational purposes.

Mesmerized by the red-tailed raptor, students got a chance to ask questions about her. 

“Why is she so cute?”

“Is that her cage all the time?”

“Does she have a spine?”

“Can she turn her head all the way around?”

Patient and full of answers, the guide responded to each of the students’ thoughtful, attentive questions before putting the hawk back in her crate. While sad to see her go, the students came away from the experience with newfound knowledge and respect for birds.

BVES - Birds of Prey - answering questions