Learning hands-on

Young Explorers Club participants explore the diet of owls

By Allen Yow

Saturday, March 25 was another great day for the Morgan County Audubon Society’s Young Explorers Club.

Ed Anderson and Rebecca Miller introduced 25 “Young Explorers” (along with their families) to the fascinating world of owls at the Jacksonville Public Library. Anderson and Miller discussed the natural history of the owl species living in Illinois year-round, as well as those species that spend only the winter months here.

The Young Explorers learned about the types of animals on which these night predators prey, and how to identify the prey in owl pellets.

Using a prey identification chart, under the guidance of Anderson, Miller and fellow MCAS (Morgan County Audubon Society) members Marlys Bandy and Rita Bahan, students dissected owl pellets and found the bones of several prey species.

The Young Explorers had a real “hands-on” learning experience. Special thanks to Anderson, Miller, Bandy, Bahan, the Young Explorers and their families for making the program a success.

The next Young Explorers Club meeting will be on Thursday, April 6 at 7 p.m. at Western Illinois Youth Camp, 2244 4-H Club Ln. in Jacksonville.

Illinois College professor Bernd Estabrook will demonstrate how students can explore the night sky using binoculars and computer software, in a program entitled Adventures in Stargazing.

This will be the last Young Explorers meeting for the 2022-2023 season. Don’t worry, though — the Morgan County Audubon Society is hard at work planning the 2023-2024 season.

If you have a suggestion for a program topic and/or would like to assist in planning and putting on future programs, please let us know by emailing Allen at aryow@irtc.net.

We are always on the lookout for new ideas and approaches to sharing nature, conservation and science with the youth of west central Illinois. 

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