How much do you know about our country's official bird? Our Prekindergarten students can tell you a lot about bald eagles - like where they live (and how they build their nests), some of their features (they aren't really bald!), and their families.
Their teachers - Glenda Akers, Vickie Bennett, Heather Manning and Christal Harding - have been providing many hands-on experiences for their eager young students. They took to the Swain playground to gather sticks and other natural materials to build an aerie (eagle's nest) - their finished nest was about eight feet in diameter! They also built a miniature version of a nest, and shared facts that they had learned, with some colorful mosaic artwork.
And to really get 'up close and personal', both classrooms have been using their SmartBoards to monitor a live 'bald eagle cam' in a non-disclosed Pennsylvania location, to watch a pair of bald eagles during their breeding season (see the live feed, below).
Since early January our Swain scientists have been monitoring the activities of the pair, and documenting what happens in the nest on a daily basis. Excitement was high when the first egg was laid on February 21, with a second egg following two days later.
The students have been learning and practicing all kinds of skills, including observing, describing, and creating art pieces to illustrate the birds and their activities.
Alas, Mother Nature has intervened and the original mother was apparently killed by a predator, and the eggs were compromised. The male has a new mate and observers are watching to see if they will have any offspring this season.
More facts about bald eagles: The bald eagle's history in Pennsylvania is a precarious one. Only 30 years ago, Pennsylvania had a mere three nests left in the entire state. With the help of the Canadian government and several agencies including the Pennsylvania Game Commission, bald eagle chicks were brought back to PA to reintroduce bald eagles to the Northeast.
You can enjoy the bald eagle cam too!