Nature Canada

Ottawa Students get up close with birds of prey

On February 25, over 1,000 Ottawa–area elementary school kids had the unique opportunity of meeting a live raptor at their school. They learned about three traits all birds of prey (or raptors) have in common (incredible vision, sharp talons and curved beaks), and the important role they play as a top predator in their ecosystems by helping maintain balance in the food chain.

The students’ favourite part was meeting two birds of prey: Olaf, an American Kestrel and his friend Darwin, a Great-horned Owl. The animator and handler of the birds was from Falcon-ed, a company that specializes in falconry, training birds of prey, ecological control and educational presentations. The birds of prey are born in captivity and have been specially trained for presentations. They are well taken care of!

Darwin, the Great-horned Owl

Both American kestrels and Great-horned owls can be found in and around the Ottawa area, so having Olaf and Darwin as ambassadors help educated and raise awareness of wildlife that can be found in forests where we live.

School presentations are one example of ways we engage kids with nature through our NatureHood program, which is about connecting urban Canadians, particularly children, to nearby nature.

Thank you to Kemptville and Lakeview Public schools and St. Anne Catholic school for inviting Nature Canada and Falcon-ed to talk about birds of prey and nearby nature.

This is the time of year when Great-horned owls start looking for a nest, so be sure to get out and explore your NatureHood, and you might be lucky and find an owl!

Falcon-ed with Olaf, an American Kestrel

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