We were on the road again with our school workshops, this time in Lower Austria. In Waidhofen an der Thaya, very close to the Allentsteig military training area and the Thayatal National Park, we were right in the middle of the habitat of wolve, lynx and European wildcat. The kids of the 4th grade of the BRG Waidhofen an der Thaya learned a lot about these predators. Of course, bear and golden jackal were also on the list. Many kids didn’t even know what was going on in front of their doors and they were really interested. From now on, they will certainly keep their eyes open during their walks in the forest, because the Allentsteig military training area, where the first wolf pack in Austria was formed in 2015 after an absence of more than 100 years, is only some kilometers away.
Our next station was Perchtoldsdorf near Vienna where we had a workshop on owls and forests as part of our “Eulen-Spiegel” project, funded by the Austrian ministry. The 14-year-old children had already accumulated great knowledge about our native owls and were really enthusiastic about the topic. After an acoustic excursion into the world of owl voices, the feathers of Ural owls and long-eared owls as well as various birds of prey such as golden eagles, black vultures and white-tailed eagles were examined under binoculars to determine their differences. The highlight was of course the dissection of owl pellets. The kids brought all sorts of bones to light: claws from various birds, bird feathers that were still intact, remains of beaks, half of a mouse’s dentition, half of a frog’s skull and all kinds of femurs, ulnas and radiuses. Indeed, a very representative overview from the diet of owls. We really enjoyed the workshop and we hope that one or more of the kids might even build a nesting box for the endangered feathery creatures at home.
Thanks a lot to the two school classes and their teachers, maybe we’ll see each other again!