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Plenty of kids gathered at the Dragoon Trace Nature Center Saturday morning, as the spring showers came down in Ringgold county, to learn about owls through a Nature Tots program.
Nature Tots was started by Ringgold County Conservation Director Kate Zimmerman in August of 2017. So far the program has featured song birds, fall harvest, reptiles, spring flowers, and maybe a county a favorite, monarch tagging, while this one was all about owls.
Zimmerman started off the program with a childrens’ book telling a story about children on an owl prowl with their grandfather. Next, Ranger Kate talked about the owls features, such as their interlocking wings for silent flight, their sharp talons for catching prey and their eyes lacking muscles, preventing them from rolling their eyes at their parents which brought laughter from the parents in attendance.
The children were allowed to touch real owl wings, feet and were given the opportunity to view Rufus, a permanently injured red-faced screech owl that is housed at the Nature Center.
Afterward, the children had a couple activities planned out for them, the first of which was dissecting an owl pellet. The pellets are created by the owl after swallowing their prey whole and an organ, called the crop, creates the pellet from what the bird cannot digest.
In the pellets, children were excited to find skulls, leg and hip bones and vertebrae from rodents that the owls had eaten.
The program finished with a coloring activity, in which the children colored owls and decorated colorful picture frames with stickers.
Ringgold County Conservation provides Nature Tots programs all throughout the year at a cost of $5 per child.
To catch the next program, Amazing Amphibians, be sure to register your child by calling 641-464-2787 and be sure to keep an eye on the RCCB Facebook page for any changes, rescheduling or cancellations.