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Conservation Education Corner – May 2016

By Lisa B. Flowers, FAS Conservation Educator

Adult education class – Beauty of Birds ran at Flathead High School on Wednesday evenings from 6 – 8 PM in April. The 4-week class got off to an exceptional beginning with wildlife biologist Steve Gniadek presenting his photos of birds in Glacier National Park. One of the favorite photos was of a hawk owl Steve had found in GNP. The detailed information and stories Steve told us are memorable. Kari Gabriel was our second presenter and was accompanied by her two birds of prey which she uses for educational purposes throughout the year. Her presentation on hawks, falcons and eagles was very informative. The third class Bruce Tannehill taught participants about bird songs and calls. The final class will be a fantastic field trip out to Smith Lake with Leslie Kehoe and Bob Lee. It will be interesting to see how many more birds had arrived since our field trip with the FVCC Senior Institute – Birds of Northwestern Montana class.

The educational trunks are being checked out by teachers to use in their classrooms. We are so thankful to Beth and Eliza at the Northwestern Montana Learning Cooperative for letting us house our trunks in their building space at Linderman School. They are always accommodating of the needs of teachers to pick up the trunks, and make it easy for us to keep our educational resources organized and ready to be used by educators in the Flathead Valley.

In May we will be working with the biology teachers at Flathead High School to select up to 5 monitoring locations on the Owen Sowerwine Natural Area property. This field trip will help us develop a plan for a fall field day in which older high school students mentor younger students as they gain knowledge and skills focused on wetland/riparian habitat, birds & wildlife and their needs in OSNA, and soils and plants, including invasive species. Our field day will also include cross curriculum activities such as journaling and cultural history.

There are many exceptional upcoming educational presentations and opportunities in May, June and beyond! If you or anyone you know are interested in volunteering or learning more contact Lisa Flowers, 406-781-1721, auduboneducator@gmail.com. Your interest, support, and participation in FAS’s Conservation Education Program are much appreciated!!

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