Endorsed by Curators:
Join a Duke Farms Educator one Sunday morning a month to learn why Duke Farms is for the birds! During this series, Junior Ornithologists will gain an understanding of what makes birds so unique and fascinating. Through games and classroom activities we will explore the life histories of birds and delve into topics such as bird biology and adaptations for flight, bird behavior, diets and habitats. We will learn to use binoculars and field guides and will go outside to see what our feathered friends are up to throughout the year.
These programs are designed for families with children in grades K-6. At least 1 adult must accompany each family of children during this program, with no more than two adults accompanying each child. Please note that we cannot accommodate any children who are not currently in Kindergarten. This includes the younger siblings of any registered K through 6 participant as well as any toddlers or babies in arms, carriers, slings or strollers.
Part of each program is spent indoors learning about the topic of the month. Then we go outdoors to watch and identify birds in the field. Appropriate shoes are required and this program will run rain or shine so please dress for the weather! Bring a refillable water bottle.
January 21: Birds From The Beginning
We will take a look at Birds from the beginning including their unique Anatomy, Biology and Behavior. We will begin to look at ways to identify birds in the field, then go outside with binoculars and try to identify birds we observe at our feeders and in the field.
February 25: Eagles; Our Early Nesters
Everyone is excited about the eagles that live and nest at Duke Farms. Did you know they lay their eggs in the middle of winter? This program will help us get to know all about the life cycle and habits of our majestic eagles.
March 25: Spring Migration; Flight and Feathers
We will learn how a bird is adapted to long flights and take an in depth look at feathers and features that make flight possible.
April 29: Tweets Twitters/Bird Communication
May is the time when birds become very vocal and even noisy as they establish territories and search for mates. We will explore bird communication as well as mating and nesting. Put your cell phones away as we listen for the live tweets, twitters and songs of the birds of spring.
May 20: Bluebirds Abound
Did you know that eastern bluebirds actually begin their courtship in late winter? Or that bluebirds often raise two broods in one season? Well check on active bluebird nest boxes as we learn all about the life history of these birds of happiness.
June 24: Habitats Are For the Birds
Birds have adaptations that make them well suited to live in some habitats, but not all habitats. Lets explore the meadows, lakes and woodlands of Duke Farms and learn about the different kinds of birds that call these places home.
July 29: Hummingbirds
Its almost impossible to believe that a bird that weighs less than a penny can migrate all the way to Central America and back every year. We will take an in depth look at the life and times of this tiny miracle on the wing. Well also learn about gardening for hummingbirds and participants will take home seeds of a plant that is a hummingbird favorite.
August 19: Birds Beaks and Bugs
Whats a birds favorite meal? The answer depends on what kind of bill is attached to the bird. And whats the difference between a bill and a beak anyway? Well explore these topics then go out and observe birds and their bills in action.
September 16: Fall Migration
Every fall, many species of birds prepare for fall migration. Well talk about some of the birds that fly elsewhere for the winter and how banding birds helps scientists study bird migration. No promises, but we hope to have a hands on bird banding session with an experienced scientist!
October 14: Owls Rule the Night
Owls are fascinating nocturnal birds of prey with adaptations that make them incredible hunters. Lets take a close look at our NJ owls and find out who is whooing in the dark!
November 18: Lets Talk Turkey
As Thanksgiving approaches, we cant help but think and wonder about this iconic bird. Come learn all about where they live, what they eat, and how they raise their families. Well make our own turkey calls and even learn to talk turkey!
December 16 : Winter Birds
Not all birds migrate to warmer places in winter. Well take a look at the birds that stick around in the coldest months and discover how they survive in the worst conditions. Well also explore the topic of feeding birds and see who is visiting our bird feeders here at Duke Farms.