Last week we had a great owl workshop in the 2nd grade of the elementary school in Straßwalchen, Austria. The workshops are part of our project “Eulenspiegel“, funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Tourism and Regions. The children had even brought some owl feathers by themselves that they had found in the forest, including feathers from eagle and barn owl. The children already knew a lot about owls, even though they hadn’t done anything about it in class beforehand.
The kids were particularly fascinated by the owl’s menu, although they weren´t really happy that owls can also feed on rabbits or fawns. They were amazed that the pygmy owl only weighs about 60 g, i.e. as much as an egg, and the eagle owl in comparison up to 3 kg. When listening and guessing the different voices of owls, the eagle owl was recognized immediately, the scops owl and the Ural owl were a bit more difficult.
After the theoretical part, the children had a closer look under the microscope on all the feathers they had brought along, as well as the feathers of birds of prey and owls we brought with us. The owls’ soft and serrated feathers were clearly distinguishable from the others.
The pellets with the different bones inside were examined with mixed feelings, but it was definitely exciting for the kids what can be found in an owl’s pellet. The children were very fast in solving the owl-crossword puzzle and playing owl memory games. Obviously, they really were enthusiastic about owls and many of them told us stories about owl observations in the forest that they had already made.
It was a great workshop, many thanks to the children and their class teacher Ms. Hechtberger! Maybe we’ll see each other again next year with our butterfly workshop!