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Who: The Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory and the Lake Superior Zoo, funded by grants

from: Donald Weesner Foundation
MN DNR Lake Superior Coastal Grant (sponsored by NOAA)

What: FREE Raptors in the Classroom program

Where: 4th grade classrooms in area school districts

When: February through May of 2008. Each school has a designated week during which
their programs can be scheduled. See your school’s info on the back of this flyer.

How: Contact Debbie Waters for more info!

YEAR FOUR!!!

The Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory and the Lake
Superior Zoo are teaming up once again to bring a
"close encounter of the raptor kind" to area 4th
graders. Thanks to generous grants, Hawk Ridge has
developed 4th grade programs and is offering these
programs free of charge to all 4th grade classrooms
throughout area schools.

Teachers have a variety of programs to choose from,
and each program consists of 2 sessions: the first
includes background information and an introduction to
the lesson, and the second concludes the lesson and
includes a demonstration with a live raptor.
Details about the lessons and the raptors are located
on the back of this flyer.

Debbie Waters
Education Director
Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory
dwaters@hawkridge.org
218.428.3539
Sign up
Debbie Waters
218.428.3539
today!
dwaters@hawkridge.org
LESSONS
Your School: Each lesson is made up of TWO 45-
minute sessions: the first session contains
the bulk of the lesson, and the second
session concludes and reinforces the
lesson with a visit by a live raptor.
Your Week:

On Silent Wings
Two 45-minute sessions
Raptor: Screech-Owl
How to schedule: Owls are nocturnal predators. Owls often can’t
We will visit your classroom for TWO 45-minute see their prey, either because of low light
presentations, preferably on different days. It works best conditions or the prey is hidden under
for us if we can present back-to-back lessons to all the 4th vegetation or snow. Because of this, they have
grade classrooms in each school. We prefer not to com- developed adaptations for hunting, including
bine classes—our lessons are designed for classes of 20-35 using their sense of hearing, camouflage, and
students. very unique feet.
Call Debbie: 218.428.3539 Raptor Relatives
Two 45-minute sessions
Email Debbie: dwaters@hawkridge.org Raptor: American Kestrel or Screech-Owl
Raptors are birds of prey, and they are different
from all other birds because of their keen
American Kestrel eyesight, talons, and sharp, curved bill. There
Kestrels are small falcons--in fact, are many different types of raptors, and the
they are only about the size of a three main diurnal (daytime) types are buteos,
robin. Kestrels are most often seen accipiters, and falcons. Each of these three types
perched on telephone wires as they have characteristics that set them apart from
search for their favorite insect each other, and are usually adapted from their
foods. Athena is a 12-year-old hunting techniques and habitats.
female and stands 9 inches tall.
Raptors on the Move!
Screech-Owl Two 45-minute sessions
Screech-Owls are one of the Raptor: American Kestrel
smallest owl species in North Some birds migrate--that is, they fly south in the
America. Their gray coloring fall and return north in the spring. Migration is
and mottling allows them to mainly driven by availability of food. Raptors
be masters of camouflage follow rivers, lakeshores, and mountain ranges
against tree trunks. Bosley is a when migrating, which is why the Hawk Ridge
12-year-old male and is only 7 Nature Reserve is a point of concentration for
inches high. migrating birds. Migrating takes a lot of energy,
and raptors use a couple of methods to increase
their energy efficiency.
Raptors in the Classroom

Contract Number: 306-STAR09-07
Project Number: B11316

August 2008

Debbie Waters
Education Director
Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Funding for this project was generously provided by the following:

The Coastal Zone Management Act, by NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal
Resource Management, in cooperation with Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal
Program.

The Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation

The Donald M. Weesner Foundation
INTRODUCTION

Since 1972, research, education and stewardship have been conducted at the
Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve in eastern Duluth, Minnesota. Due to two
significant geographical features, raptors are funneled and concentrated over
Hawk Ridge. The most significant feature is the north shore of Lake Superior,
which provides a shoreline concentration point for migrating raptors and other
birds. These birds, which do not want to cross such a large, cold body of water
fly south along the shoreline and their point of greatest concentration before
rounding the tip of Lake Superior is over Hawk Ridge. The second feature is the
Sawtooth Mountain ridge--the former glacial Lake Duluth shoreline--which the
raptors follow south along the shoreline and allows them to gain lift. In the fall,
one could see a few migrating raptors just about anywhere in the Arrowhead of
Minnesota, but it is Lake Superior and its miles of shoreline that concentrates
and funnels them to Hawk Ridge; once past the ridge, the raptors disperse and
continue their southward journey.

Recognizing that our youth are our future and that due to budget cuts, school
field trips were being drastically reduced, Hawk Ridge decided that if the school
students couldn’t come to us during the fall at Hawk Ridge, we would go to them.
In the spring of 2005, utilizing a grant from the Duluth-Superior Area Community
Foundation, Hawk Ridge education director Debbie Waters conducted an
ambitious raptor education program in 22 area elementary schools,
encompassing 58 fourth grade classrooms. The Raptors in the Classroom
program involved two 45-minute sessions in each classroom: the first included
background information, an introduction and the bulk of the lesson, and the
second concluded the lesson and included a visit from a live raptor. Hawk Ridge
collaborated with the Lake Superior Zoo education department to bring the live
education raptors into the schools.

A generous grant from the Donald M. Weesner Foundation was used to fund an
expansion of the Raptors in the Classroom program in area elementary schools
in the late winter and spring of 2006. The $13,100 grant enabled us to expand
this program to 43 elementary schools in an expanded geographical area up to
60 miles from Duluth, Minnesota. A further expansion of the program took place
in 2007 to 50 elementary schools, and the final expansion in 2008 with 56
elementary schools.

As a companion program to the current Raptors in the Classroom program, we
developed the “Experience Hawk Ridge” program and offered free field trips to
Hawk Ridge in the falls of 2006 and 2007 to these same fourth graders when
they returned to school in the fall as fifth graders. The on-site programs at the
Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve were developed with the goals of increasing
knowledge about raptors, demonstrating the role of Lake Superior in the
migration over Hawk Ridge, and to reinforce the lessons taught during the spring
classroom visits.
WORK COMPLETED

Hawk Ridge education director Debbie Waters developed, marketed and
implemented the 2008 Raptors in the Classroom program. This involved
contacting teachers, arranging schedules, curriculum development, staff
scheduling, travel and teaching.

Scheduling programs continued throughout the course of the project. Programs
were implemented by Debbie Waters and Julie O’Connor. All staff were
independent contractors. The contractual expenses for staffing included actual
program implementation time for two instructors, and time for scheduling,
preparation, travel and evaluation.
RESULTS

The program has undergone development, marketing, scheduling, and
implementation. The total number of elementary schools served is 56—
which is MORE than our target of 55! The project proceeded according to the
initial plans with one exception. We expanded our collaboration to provide
education birds from the Lake Superior Zoo to also include the Audubon Center
of the North Woods and Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center.

We are in general very pleased with the program as a whole, and the program is
slated to be an ongoing offering. Continual adjustments were made throughout
the season to improve the program, and while some of them related to the actual
program content and delivery, most were focused on the logistics, such as
education bird well-being and school scheduling.
CONCLUSIONS

The degree of retention by the students of the Raptors in the Classroom (RITC)
information was truly amazing. At the start of the second session, students
brainstormed the concepts and terms they remembered from the first session.

It has become a typical sight to see a classroom teacher sitting at his/her desk or
in the back of the class, taking notes throughout the program. Providing teachers
with background information, a jumping-off point, and enthusiastic students
paves the way for more study about birds and the environment. I am thrilled by
this unanticipated benefit and personally provided additional resources to many
of the teachers.

Now that the program has been in the schools for four years, we are seeing an
increasing number of students visiting our Peregrine Watch program during the
summer and visiting Hawk Ridge to view the migration during the fall. Raptors in
the Classroom provides a wonderful start to childrens’ interest in the outdoors in
general and birds in particular. And these students are learning on their own!
They are very proud of all the information they’ve learned through videos, the
internet and PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, gained by their own observations!

As someone who is passionate about birds, it thrills me to see the doors that
Raptors in the Classroom has opened for our students. There’s nothing quite like
listening to a 5th grader tell about all her experiences watching the Merlins
nesting in their neighborhood or seeing young Bald Eagle chicks grow into
juveniles and learning to fly. Raptors in the Classroom opens their eyes to the
world around them and provides a base for understanding what they see.
Raptors on the Move
Raptors in the Classroom
4th grade

Overview
Some birds migrate--that is, they fly south in the fall and return north in the
spring. Migration is mainly driven by availability of food. Raptors follow rivers,
lakeshores, and mountain ranges when migrating, which is why the Hawk Ridge Nature
Reserve is a point of concentration for migrating birds. Migrating takes a lot of energy,
and raptors use a couple of methods to increase their energy efficiency.

Concepts
 Raptors are birds of prey.
 Some birds migrate north in the spring and south in the fall, and this is mainly
driven by availability of food.
 Birds that don’t migrate have a food source available to them all year.
 Raptors like to follow things when migrating, like rivers, lakeshores, and
mountain ranges.
 Hawk Ridge is a point of concentration because of Lake Superior.
 Migrating takes a lot of energy. Raptors use various methods to increase
efficiency of flying:
o updrafts
o thermals

Materials
 Raptor Cards: 1 per species, total of 10 species
 Raptor Migration Worksheet, 1 per group
 Large North/South America map
 HRNR migration map
 RLHA large card
 HAHA large card
 Updraft Diagram
 Thermal/Kettle Diagram
 dry erase markers
 masking tape
 pins for pinning up posters
Lesson: Part One
 Introduction
o introduce presenter: Debbie Waters from Hawk Ridge
o introduce lesson: How many of the students have been to HR?
(Question students about what they did there.) Hawk Ridge is a place
right here in Duluth where a lot of birds migrate through, and we’ll talk a
little bit later about WHY there are so many birds at Hawk Ridge, and
just how many there are. What’s a raptor? (a bird of prey; keen
eyesight, talons, curved bill). A raptor is a predator, meaning they catch
& kill their prey. This is different from being a carnivore.
 Why Raptors Migrate
o Close your eyes and think about this winter. Name some birds you see
here in the winter time. Now think back to summer and name some
birds you see during the summer. During which season do you see more
birds? Summer! Why? Because of migration! (when birds fly south in
the fall and north in the spring) Why would they do that? (it’s cold, lack
of food) Do all birds migrate? (No) Why not? (they have a lot of
feathers for warmth and they have plenty of food.)
o Give examples of raptors that migrate and those that don’t.
 migrating raptor: Rough-legged Hawk
• eats: mice & other small mammals
• lives: far northern Canada; snow & cold in winter
• can’t find prey under the snow
• migrate to areas with no snow or very little snow
 non-migrating raptor: Harris’s Hawk
• eats: small mammals and small birds
• lives: Mexico
• no snow, prey all year
• don’t need to migrate
 ACTIVITY
o Form small groups of 3-4. Each group gets an information card and
question sheet about a different raptor.
 students read the raptor cards and work together to answer the
questions on the worksheet.
o Go around the class and have each group explain why their raptor
migrates or doesn’t migrate. Don’t judge them right or wrong, but their
decision must be explained.
 Prep for Part Two
o Next time we’re going to review, we’ll talk about some new stuff and I
will be bringing in 2 visitors…one is a human, and the other is a raptor.
o How to make a wild animal feel comfortable in the classroom?
 CALM---they must know this word, and that it means QUIET and
STILL
Lesson: Part Two
 Introduction
o What’s the word? CALM
o This is <insert zoo staff name>, she works at the Lake Superior Zoo.
Have any of you been to the zoo before? Then you might recognize the
bird that she brought with her today…
 Review Last Session
o Ask students to recall concepts and terms that they learned during Part
One…write them on the board. 
How Raptors Migrate
o If your raptor migrates, one person from your group raise a hand. So
these birds fly south in the fall and back north in the spring. What
“roads” do they take?
o Raptors like to follow things, like rivers, shorelines, and mountain ranges.
(Use the N/S America map to illustrate). Use dry erase markers to mark
flyways on the map. Start at the East Coast and work west, asking
students to identify the “roads” a raptor might follow. Mark these
flyways: Atlantic, Appalachian, Mississippi, Central, Rocky Mountain,
Intermountain, and Pacific.
o Demonstrate why HRNR is a point of concentration for fall migrating
birds—as the birds are flying south, generally following the Aspen
Parkland southeast through Canada, they encounter Lake Superior! Lake
Superior is very large and cold. Cold air sinks! If raptors flew over Lake
Superior, they would have to flap the entire way. So raptors turn
southwest along the North Shore and increase in number until they get
to the point of greatest concentration at Duluth! 
Energy Efficiency in Migration
o Some of the raptors flying past Hawk Ridge are traveling all the way to
South America, and it takes them about a month to get there. Can you
imagine how tiring it would be to get up every day for a month and run
to wherever you needed to be? (OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: have all the
students stand; half of them should just hold their arms out like they’re
soaring, and the other half should flap, usually 30 seconds is sufficient.
Talk about how much more energy the “flappers” used, versus the
“soarers”) Humans have developed ways to be more efficient. What are
some of them? (bikes, cars, trains, airplanes) Raptors have ways of being
efficient, too.
o The first way raptors use to SOAR instead of FLAP is by using updrafts.
An updraft is created when wind hits a vertical surface (like a cliff) and is
deflected upward. (show diagram of an updraft) This is fun at HR
because often the birds are soaring past right at eye level. Over 2 days
we saw over 6,000 Sharp-shinned Hawks, and they all floated by right at
eye level!
o The second way raptors can soar instead of flap is by using thermals.
Think about warm air and cold air. What does warm air do? (rises) And
cold air sinks. Some areas on the earth heat up faster than others, like
parking lots can get very hot. This warm rising air is called a thermal, and
raptors use it by circling up & up, and this “swarm” of raptors is called a
KETTLE. (show diagram of a thermal/kettle) Once they reach the top,
they stream off, and they look like a river of hawks. The cool thing is
that for every mile that they gain in height, they can glide for 7 miles! 
BIRD TIME 
Introducing Lady!
o Handler should cover these points. Allow students to ask questions, and
prompt if necessary:
 Lady is a Red-tailed Hawk (RTHA)
 She is ?? years old. Adult RTHA have a red tail, immatures have a
brown tail with bands. Adults have a brown eye, while immatures
have a yellow eye.
 Why she is not living in the wild.
 Lady is an education bird.
 Demonstrate the flexibility in her head/neck. Raptors have twice
as many vertebrae in their neck as humans. Imagine 2 bead
necklaces: one with seven large beads, and one with 14 little
beads. The one with 14 beads is much more flexible than the
other. Raptors cannot turn their head ALL the way around, but
they CAN turn their head ¾ of the way around. This flexibility is
necessary because they can’t move their eyes in the sockets. It
also helps them keep their eye on their prey as they’re chasing it.
 Ask students to describe what RTHA eat (mice and squirrels are
their main prey, although they also prey upon rabbits, moles,
shrews, weasels, skunks, porcupines, feral cats, and many
medium-sized and small birds) 
Introducing Athena!
o One of the coolest raptors that we see at Hawk Ridge is the American
Kestrel.
o Handler should cover these points. Allow students to ask questions, and
prompt if necessary:
 Athena is an American Kestrel (AMKE)
 She is?? years old. Why she is not living in the wild.
 Athena is an education bird.
 AMKE males and females are different colors, which is usual in
most birds, but unusual in raptors. Female AMKE are more drab-
colored than males.
 Demonstrate the flexibility in her head/neck. Raptors have twice
as many vertebrae in their neck as humans. Imagine 2 bead
necklaces: one with seven large beads, and one with 14 little
beads. The one with 14 beads is much more flexible than the
other. Raptors cannot turn their head ALL the way around, but
they CAN turn their head ¾ of the way around. This flexibility is
necessary because they can’t move their eyes in the sockets. It
also helps them keep their eye on their prey as they’re chasing it. 
American Kestrels are one of the few raptors that we can watch
eat while migrating past the Ridge. Question students as to what
they eat (dragonflies!). They catch them in the air, then hold
them in one talon, reaching down to eat. 
Point out the “tooth” in her bill, and explain the use. Falcons
have this, and they use it to help break the neck of their prey.