Video Conference with the North Carolina Zoo

Today, we had another video conference with the North Carolina Zoo. We love these guys. They are so awesome to have the experts video conference with us, to share their knowledge about the different classifications of creatures. We have already learned about Reptiles, Amphibians, Insects, and Mammals. Today, we learned about Birds.

What Makes a Bird a Bird:

~ their feet and beak tell which family of birds and where they live

~ have hollow bones to make them light to fly

~ all birds have feathers (even penguins and puffins!!)

~ most birds can fly (some fly through the water when they swim) and ostriches cannot fly

~ birds, even ones like chickens, can get off the ground and that is considered flying

~ they lay eggs and their eggs are hard shelled (like chicken eggs)

~ there are different families of birds and some of them are raptors, song birds, water fowl, grebes, woodpeckers, etc.

~ come in all shapes and sizes

~ live on every continent

~ there are different colours of beaks on different birds and some of the colours were black, blue, orange, but mostly yellow beaks

~ when the birds fly, their feathers are zipped together to push the air down to push them up so they can fly


We spent a lot of time learning about just raptors. Specifically, we learned about a Barred Owl and got to see Tara in our video conference.


Types of Raptors: owls, falcons, eagles, hawks, osprey,vultures,  harriers, condors

~ vultures have bald heads because they stick their head in other dead animals to eat

~ hawks dive down to get their prey very fast

20150601-074357.jpgBarred Owls

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~ their treat was a mouse and they eat meat and their beaks are formed to be able to tear part the meat

~ the barred owls head is really small but looks big because of all the feathers

~ is nocturnal and the feathers are camouflaged to the tree so predators won’t eat them while they sleep

~ can turn their head 270degrees around (not in a full circle)


~ they can see really well at night because they have very special eyesight and they can’t move their eyes

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~ Tara lost her right eye in the wild and now lives in the zoo as an educator bird because she can’t live in the wild safely

~ that baby owls hug a tree when they are sleeping

~ they have long claws called talons and they have 4 of them

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~ can move their talons called zygodactyl (to be able to pivot one talon from front to back to grab things)


~ they fly silently because their feathers are fringed

~ they have lots of feathers just like we have hair on our heads and they molt and grow new ones


~ they have ears that one points up and one points down so they can hear above and below at the same time

~ the ears are under their eyes

~ the feathers on the face help trap the sound so they can hear really well

~ baby owls stand on their tippy toes and hug the tree


~ the life cycle starts as an egg, then a baby owl an owlette, and then a grown up owl is 6 weeks old

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