Smithtown Elementary Fifth Graders Meet 'Birds of Prey'

Two students get up close look at barn owl. thumbnail215874

Fifth grade students at Smithtown Elementary had the chance to look up close at flying predators on Friday.

Sweet Briar Nature Center’s Jim MacDougall visited the students with four “Birds of Prey” — a raptor, red-tailed hawk, European barn owl and Eurasian eagle-owl.

The students learned that the birds have talons and sharp beaks because they hunt.

“We can’t feed these guys vegetables,” MacDougall told the students.

The students got to touch the feathers of Aria, the Eurasian eagle-owl. Aria weighs 6½ pounds. That species can be as heavy as 10 pounds — the largest species of owls in the world by weight.

MacDougall showed how quiet that type of owl’s feather are when moving compared with other birds. He noted scientists even study those owls to potentially find ways to make airplanes quieter.

Date Added: 4/8/2022