Raptors To Go

(Program Descriptions)

Ever wish you could experience the thrill of being up close to a magnificent eagle, hawk, falcon, or owl? Well, this is your opportunity! Horizon Wings will bring a variety of environmental programs featuring these extraordinary birds right to your classroom, library, outdoor center, garden club, or home. All of the program birds in our care are unable to survive in the wild, but have overcome their individual challenges and have learned to adapt to their new lives as feathered ambassadors. Be inspired by their individual stories of survival, explore fascinating facts about each species, and learn what you can do to help them.

Each program is age-appropriate, interactive, and content can be customized to complement classroom curriculum. Programs are approximately one hour in length, with the exception of programs for the very young, and there is ample opportunity for asking and answering questions. All programs include a segment on the environment and ways we can all help to keep it safe and clean. In addition, at your request, we will also bring a special guest---our mascot, Beamer, the Eastern box turtle.

1. BIRDS OF PREY

What are the features all raptors have in common? You can design a program of your own by choosing four raptors. Learn their individual stories as well as the characteristics and behaviors of each species.

2. THE SECRET LIVES OF OWLS

It seems that owls have always been surrounded by an air of mystery, probably because most are nocturnal and not easily spotted in the wild. This is your chance to be only a few feet away from two eastern screech owls, a barred owl and a great-horned owl! Discover the extraordinary features of owls, including exceptional eyesight, hearing, and ability to fly silently.

3. PRINCIPLES OF FLIGHT

What makes a bird able to fly? Explore the differences in the flying and hunting techniques of four species of raptors, including an American kestrel, a peregrine falcon, a red-tailed or broad-winged hawk, and an owl. What makes an American kestrel able to “kite”? What are the special anatomical features that make the peregrine falcon the fastest creature on the planet?

4. THREATENED AND ENDANGERED

What do the classifications “threatened” and “endangered” really mean? We feature two American kestrels, a peregrine falcon, a northern saw-whet owl, and a fourth bird of your choice. What caused the drastic decline in North American peregrine falcon populations in the 1960’s? Learn which species of raptors are currently on Connecticut’s threatened and endangered list and ways in which we can help to promote their survival.

5. WEE WINGS

This 30- to 40-minute program is suitable for pre-schoolers, ages 3-5. We feature three of our smaller raptors along with a story that teaches children what to do if they find a baby bird.

6. BIRD BRAINS

Did you know that crows are capable of recognizing and remembering individual faces and can teach their children which individuals to avoid? Far from being “hard-wired” as previously thought, recent research proves that birds actually possess sophisticated cognitive abilities. Indeed, responding to changing conditions by changing the way they act, is often crucial to their survival. Join us as we compare and contrast the fascinating qualities of avian intelligence among three different species of birds: an American Crow, a Peregrine Falcon, and a Blue and Gold Macaw.

Program Fees: Although Horizon Wings is licensed by the State of Connecticut and U.S. Fish &Wildlife, we are not funded by either. Therefore, we rely on program fees to help support our all-volunteer, non-profit organization. Please call Mary-Beth at 860-429-2181 for more information.

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