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Animal Olympians

By: Greg Martin,
Medical Services Volunteer

Man might host the Olympic Games, but we certainly aren’t the only athletic species; in the natural world, every animal is an athlete, and in their competitions, peak performance is about far more than gold and silver – it’s about life and death. Raptors in particular are honed to an extreme level of prowess, by necessity: a fast metabolism demands nourishment. Raptors need to be faster, or stronger, or quicker, than whatever they hunt. But which ones are the best? The fastest? The strongest? The most agile? Which birds would take home the gold? 

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Buildings vs. Birds - Part 1 | Oh Rats
Birds vs. Buildings - Part 1

By: Claudia Kirscher,
Liberty Wildlife Volunteer

Each year, an estimated 2 billion migratory birds are killed across North America by building collisions.  During the 15 minutes it will take you to read this article, an estimated 36,000 birds will die from such a collision.  These types of fatalities are second only to the impacts of habitat destruction such as urban development, agriculture, forestry, climate change, and invasive species.

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Oh rats

By: Gail Cochrane,
Liberty Wildlife Volunteer

Mother Nature provides a veritable smorgasbord of prey items for desert carnivores.  The backbone of this bounty is a robust population of native rodents.  Various species of mice and rats fill different ecological niches across the desert, subsisting on seeds and beans of mesquite and other plants as well as insects.  Rodents are prolific breeders; some are able to produce 8-10 litters a year and the babies mature to breeding age quickly.  This abundant food source sustains healthy populations of raptors, snakes and bobcats. 

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By: Carol Suits, Volunteer Coordinator

have fun with this month's activities!

Bald Eagle puzzle:

National Geographic "Bald Eagle" jigsaw puzzle

Watch a video showing the speed of a peregrine falcon in a stoop.

Birds of Prey: High-Velocity Falcons video

Do you have eagle eyes? Take a look at this word find!

Nature's Olympians Word Find
Nature's Olympians Word Find Solution

Ask an adult to help you with scissors to help you complete this Hawk Silhouette:

Hawk Silhouette Activity Instructions
Cut Out the Hawk Silhouette

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