A Barred Owl in a Tree at sOES

Owl Prowl


Overall Goal
By looking at the various characteristics of the different species of owls in Ontario students will garner a greater understanding of the owl and its many adaptations as a bird of prey. 

Grade 6 Curriculum Connections
Science and technology - Understanding life systems - Biodiversity
  • assess human impacts on biodiversity, and identify ways of preserving biodiversity
  • investigate the characteristics of living things, and classify diverse organisms according to specific characteristic
  • demonstrate an understanding of biodiversity, its contributions to the stability of natural systems, and it benefits to humans
  • Connect to Big Ideas (Fairness & Equity, Systems, Community, Diversity, Interdependence, Ability to Make a Difference, Equilibrium)


Program Description

This evening activity involves a presentation followed by a short hike with calls hoping a Barred Owl or Saw-whet Owl will respond. At times we are even lucky enough to catch sight of an owl, sometimes they have flown in to say hello!

This unique experience allows the class to work together to quietly listen to the sounds of the night. Even if the owls aren't talking it's a great experience to hear all the other sounds or even appreciate the quiet peacefulness of a true wilderness setting. Flashlights are left behind as students learn to use their night vision and rely on other senses. Each night is unique and valuable regardless of the season and weather. It's a hoot!

Success Criteria/Learning Goals

  1. Students will describe the different adaptations of the owl that are key to their survival.
  2. Students will describe ways in which humans impact owl populations, both positively and negatively.
  3. Students will list the benefits of owls to both an ecosystem and to humans.

 

Pre-Trip Activity
As a minds on activity develop a KWL chart about owls.
Next Step Environmental Action
Explore the various ways human impact bird populations in the city, including but not limited to loss of habitat and nesting sites, food sources, light pollution, cats, and air pollution. Here are some websites that can lead to some rich discussions about this issue and develop advocacy skills amongst your students. Resources
  • This is one of many great owl websites for further research.
  • For more resources please see Learning Resources on our website under Biodiversity.

 

This activity can be done in fall, winter and until the end of April which is Barred Owl breeding time.