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Birds Of Prey Programs For Schools

Osceola with John Stokes
How can an American Eagle Foundation (AEF) Birds Of Prey Program enhance environmental education in your school?

Environmental education has become an important part of the curricula in many of today's schools. We have finally realized that our Earth's resources are indeed finite, and that a well-balanced ecosystem is imperative for our future survival. What could better illustrate this to the students of the 90s than the plight of the bald eagle and peregrine falcon?

Our Birds Of Prey Program is an exciting and effective educational tool to teach about wildlife, environmental and ecological concerns. It is presented by an experienced professional staff in a very entertaining and captivating manner. The program features majestic non-releasable birds that are superbly trained for educating audiences of all ages. We present a safe, up-close and dramatic look at these fascinating creatures in a classroom, auditorium or gymnasium setting. Many species are represented, including a Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Red-Tailed Hawk, Harris' Hawk, Barn Owl, Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Screech Owl, American Kestrel, Turkey Vulture and Black Vulture.

Over and over, our organization has seen the awe, wonder and respect that birds of prey evoke from children and adults alike. The positive impact that is made on children is tremendous and life-long. For the past eleven years, our non-profit organization has educated millions of people at the Dollywood entertanment park and at schools, conventions, trade shows and special events throughout the country. We have successfully performed over 7,000 "free-flight" birds of prey education programs since 1991, using non-releasable trained birds. We conduct these programs with the licensed permission of the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service and various State fish and wildlife agencies.

During our presentation, students learn the following important facts about birds of prey:

a) how to identify them
b) their role in the ecosystem
c) laws protecting them
d) how to help them when they are injured or orphaned
e) what students can do personally to help protect them and the environment

Immediately following the bird program students are encouraged to ask questions. We know from countless past programs that students do enjoy and learn from our presentation, and that the sight of these magnificent birds encourages students to get involved in preserving our precious natural heritage.

What are the Birds Of Prey Program responsibilities of the AEF?

AEF staff members will provide a birds of prey and environmental education program featuring the presentation of a "live" Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Red-Tailed Hawk, Harris' Hawk, Black Vulture, Barn Owl, Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Screech Owl, Turkey Vulture and American Kestrel. Some birds will perform a free-flight demonstration. The AEF will provide a 30-minute Birds Of Prey Program and an approximate 15-minute question and answer period. Also, the AEF will provide bald eagle fact sheet hand-outs. The AEF reserves the right to modify the bird selection specified above per their availability.

What are the Birds Of Prey Program responsibilities of your school?

Your school will provide a gymnasium, auditorium or classroom in which to present the AEF Birds Of Prey Program. In addition, your school will provide the use of 2 tables (approx. 3'x6') and a public address system (if needed). In addition, your school will make 2 school staff persons or students available to help the AEF staff set-up and load-out. Students attending the bird program will be seated in the designated program area at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled program, and school representatives will supervise them during the program. The preferred times to schedule programs are at 10:00 in the morning and at 2:00 in the afternoon, but we are willing to adjust this desired schedule if absolutely necessary.

What will an AEF Birds Of Prey Program cost your school?

The cost of the AEF Birds of Prey Program will vary depending how far away your school is from the AEF's headquarters in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Whenever feasible, the non-profit AEF makes every attempt to honor requests within counties bordering its headquarters at Pigeon Forge of East Tennessee.  However, it is often not mutually feasible for eitiher AEF or the school for a program of more than approximately 100 miles distance.  Schools will be responsible for making a donation to the AEF, plus cover their travel expenses to and from your school. Call the AEF at 1-800-2EAGLES for more details about program costs.

How can businesses benefit by sponsoring an AEF Birds Of Prey Program at your school?

Many schools have limited budgets and may not be able to afford the cost of bringing in special educational programs. Local businesses are often asked to step forward and help sponsor the AEF Birds Of Prey Program at schools. Schools can enlist the help of business sponsors that are already friendly to and supportive of their efforts. Sponsors and schools are encouraged to invite local newspaper and TV media, and business sponsors are invited to have a representative of their company attend and introduce the bird program.

Conduct a "Save The Eagle ®" fundraiser to bring a Birds Of Prey Program to your school

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