In this episode of Kidwings Explores, host Chris Anderson shows us the amazing features that make the the Barn Owl the Perfect Hunter.
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Explore the 12 Nests of Bird Knowledge
12 Nests of Knowledge is twelve segments that lead teachers and students through a series that reveal the unusual and fascinating world of birds. Learn about interesting characteristics of birds that creates a lasting interest in your students.
Who would use 12 Nests of Knowledge?
Everyone! But especially teachers, club leaders, outdoor enthusiasts, and birders. Do them all at once or assign them out over a period of time. 12 Nests is a outpouring of love that Kidwings has for students and their teachers.
Learn about the unique qualities and characteristics of the avian world. You’ll want to start your journey with this brief introduction!
Learn about the external features of a bird’s anatomy (feather tracts, limbs etc.) which are useful in describing a bird’s appearance.
What makes a bird a bird? Feathers. Birds are the only animals that have feathers and they come in many sizes, colors, and shapes.
Bird’s beaks are very important. They help the bird gather food and sometimes they rip, tear, or crush food. They can act as an extra hand, such as when parrots use their beak for climbing. They are used for building nests, and in some species of birds they can even tie knots!
Birds have many different shapes and sizes to their feet. Like the shape of the bill, the anatomy of birds’ feet tells us much about the ecology of different species of birds. In this nest there are several examples of birds feet and what each one can tell us about the group of birds who possess them.
Bird skulls come in all shapes and sizes. Explore birds by name to see its skull in several different positions. There are even a few skulls that aren’t birds.
Birds of prey, also known as raptors, hunt and feed on other animals. The term “raptor” is derived from the Latin word rapere (meaning to seize or take by force). Learn about the different types of birds of prey and their diets.
Owls aren’t the only birds that make pellets. Almost any bird that eats animals with bones or exoskeletons will make a pellet after their meal. Learn about various birds and their pellets by completing this section.
What is a pellet? How are they formed? What’s inside? These are great questions that you’ll find when you follow this informative and interactive link to the Kidwings Virtual Owl Pellet Dissection.
Barn Owls generally swallow their prey whole but are unable to digest the hair and bone. After each night’s hunting the owl regurgitates one or two black pellets typically about the size of a human thumb and containing the remains of four or five small mammals. This lesson pertains to exploring pellets and their contents.
Barn owls have been in decline for several decades, and is one of the our target species for conservation. Biologists believe that barn owls have great management and recovery potential throughout western states. When nests are safe and prey is abundant, owls will hunt and reproduce with vigor, creating an army of pest managers!
Owls, a large part of our focus at Kidwings, are just one of many iconic predators throughout the world. To understand how important predators are to our world, it is important to understand their biology, habits, their habitat, and the impact they have on healthy and unhealthy ecosystems.