Time: 2 Hours (Can Be Shortened)
This engaging program is all about the ultimate nighttime hunter - owls. Your students will learn about the amazing adaptations that make owls phenomenal at surviving in their unique habitats and catching their prey. After learning about their adaptations, we'll examine the snowy owl, great-horned owl, and northern saw-whet owl... along with a ton of fun biofacts!
Like most of our on-grounds programs, the Life of Owls programs include an engaging educational lesson, hands-on animal biofact interaction, a fun activity, a specially themed scavenger hunt, and time for open exploration of the museum. Read below to learn more about each of these; remember, your program can be shortened to fit any time constraints.
Educational Lesson: 60 Minutes
Birds of prey have long been a source of inspiration for humans. In this program, we will take an in depth look at some of the owls that live in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. We’ll learn about what makes owls special, from their hearing, to their eye sight, to many of their other unique adaptations. Then, we’ll look at three of the owl species you can find in Wyoming: the snowy owl, the great-horned owl, and the northern saw-whet owl.
Your students will be able to see full mounts of these birds, skulls, feathers, wings, and feet. They'll also be able to do a mini activity during the program with owl feathers and hawk feathers.
Activity: 20 Minutes
The activity for both of this program is an owl pellet dissection! Owl pellets are one of the most interesting and unique aspects of bird evolution and behavior. Your students will be put in groups of four, and then given an owl pellet. They will utilize the tools at their table to dissect the pellet, sort the animal pieces, and then try to identify what animal was within their owl pellet! This incredibly fun activity is always a hit with students!
Scavenger Hunt: 20 Minutes
The Life of Owls scavenger hunts will bring your students through the museum, looking for certain items that pertain to what they learned about in their lesson. This will include depictions of birds in human artifacts and artwork… along with actual bird mounts within the museum. The scavenger hunts are completed in small groups or pairs.
Open Museum Exploration: 20 Minutes
While the scavenger hunt allows your students to see a curated selection of items within the museum, the open museum exploration time allows your students to explore whatever they are interested in. The Wyoming State Museum has so many topics (from dinosaurs to mining to pioneers to warfare to animals to Native American culture to national parks and more), that we find it is a great idea to give students free time at the end of the program to explore.