In many ways every child is born a scientist—exploring their world, leading small experiments, asking questions, searching for answers. That innate curiosity and drive to inquiry is what Rachel Carson, the groundbreaking conservationist and author, called a sense of wonder. “A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement,” she wrote. “It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.”
This page aims to bring together activities from across Audubon’s national network of environmental educators, including the classroom curriculum Audubon Adventures, plus related DIY activities and content from Audubon’s editors. These activities can be done at home or in a yard or park, sometimes with the help of a computer. The goal isn’t to teach a child how to name and identify bird species, but rather to give them space to explore and feel connected to the natural world. If you’re a parent or caretaker, that means you don’t need to worry about your own knowledge of birds or plants. All you need to be is a companion to your child’s curiosity.
“If a child is to keep their inborn sense of wonder, they need the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with them the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in,” Rachel Carson wrote in 1956. We hope these lessons, which we’ll refresh each week with a new theme, will help you you find awe and inspiration in nature together.
The John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove is home to fascinating resident owls. These birds are badly injured and unable to survive in the wild, so now they are part of Audubon Pennsylvania's education program. Get to know the owls with Audubon staffers Carrie Barron and Christine Lin in this video series, starting with this episode on owl anatomy. Watch Episode 1 to see an Eastern Screech Owl eat a mouse. Our hosts dissect an owl pellet in Episode 2.
Quiz yourself to learn your North American owl species by sight!
Click on an owl’s photo to see the species name on the back.
Great Gray Owl
Great Horned Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
a characteristic that helps identify a bird, such as color, color pattern, size, tail shape, leg length, size and shape of beak, kind of feet, and so on
wild animals living in nature
a group of plants or animals that share certain characteristics and are able to breed and reproduce their own kind
the condition of having many different kinds of things, such as people, plants, and animals
the hard, horny part of a bird’s mouth; also called bill
for birds, to settle down to rest or sleep; a place where birds settle down to rest or sleep
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