Much like a scene from Harry Potter, an owl flew from the back of the room to his perch in the front of the room. However, it wasn’t Hedwig and it wasn’t a Snowy Owl. It was too warm of a December day for a Snowy Owl. Instead, it was Wyatt, an Eurasian Eagle Owl. He was part of a live interactive birds of prey educational program, given by Trish Marki from Silent Wings, a part of the Wildlife Institute of Eastern New York. The program was made possible by a grant from Stewart’s Shops.
The presentation was an opportunity for Therapeutic Support Program North (TSPN) students in the Living Environment classes at the F. Donald Myers Education Center in Saratoga Springs to experience first-hand the animals they had just learned about in class. TSPN teacher, Carol Meeker, explained that studying birds of prey is a topic that is deeply rooted in the Living Environment curriculum. Her students studied all aspects of birds of prey from their behaviors, adaptation, and healthy ecosystems to negative human interactions.
In addition to Wyatt, students also met and learned about four other raptors. They were: Hootie, an Eastern Screech Owl; Esteban, an Aplomado Falcon; Tallulahbelle, a Barn Owl; and Liluye, a Red Tail Hawk.