Radical Raptors
If you think falcons, eagles, and owls and other birds of prey are cool, then guess what? You are a raptor  fan! What is a raptor, you ask? Find out by watching these two short videos. In the first video, a Great Horned Owl and a naturalist demonstrate how raptors are adapted to survive in the wild.  In the second, a master bird carver uses just a piece of wood and some special tools to make a sculpture that looks ready to fly.  

Radical Raptors

We meet a live Great Horned Owl at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, where educator Kristen Rzemien explains the adaptations that help raptors survive in the wild.

Meet a Master Carver

With a love of birds and a lot of practice, bird carver Floyd Scholz sculpts raptors that look incredibly realistic. We asked him how he got started — and about his ultimate goal as an artist.

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Explore Further

play An eagle owl flying in slow motion Video: An eagle owl flying in slow motion
play Osprey hunting for fish Video: Osprey hunting for fish
Red-Tailed Hawk Sculpture in Progress Gallery: Red-Tailed Hawk Sculpture in Progress
Floyd Scholz's carvings Gallery: Floyd Scholz's carvings

Small Globe imageWEBSITE: On the Peregrine Fund's Explore Raptors page, you can search for a raptor by name or shape and read more about it, as well as learn more about raptors' powerful feet, eyes and beaks.

Small globe imageREAD MORE: Tools For Survival: Raptor Adaptations.

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Think Deeper: Questions to ponder

  • What are some reasons a scientist would observe a bird? How about an artist? A bird‐watcher? A fisherman? Why might you observe a bird closely? What kinds of things would these different people notice about a bird? 
  • What adaptations do you have to help you survive in your habitat?
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TAKE THE Challenge

  • Think of an animal that fascinates you. Do some research: Where does it live? What does it eat? What adaptations does it have? What makes it unique? Next, share what you learned — your way! You might write a report, draw a diagram, make a diorama, or create a poem, story, painting, or song — or some combination.
  • Use your imagination to design an animal that can avoid being caught by a raptor. What adaptations does it have? Draw a picture of it.
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Activity: 20 Minutes
Owl and Mouse Game
Activity: 30 Minutes
Measure Your Wingspan
Activity: 45 Minutes
Bird Beak Activity