BIRDS OF PREY SCHOOL PROGRAM
Funded by grants from local individuals and businesses.

Birds of prey are birds that hunt for food primarily on the wing, using their keen senses, especially vision.   They are defined as any bird that hunts other animals.   Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing and/or piercing flesh.   In most cases, the females are considerably larger than the males.   The term "raptor" is derived from the Latin word rapere, meaning to seize or take by force.  [Wikipedia]

EarthQuest is a non-profit environmental education organization, dedicated to the education of the public as to their impact on the natural world.   The concept for EarthQuest began in the Spring of 1989 as an idea to educate the general public about wildlife through the presentation of live animals in an entertaining format.   [EarthQuest]


Birds of Prey program manager Phil Huxford with Igor the vulture

     Every year during March and April, EarthQuest brings the Birds of Prey program to Brazoria County for a few weeks before Migration Celebration.   During these weeks, EarthQuest's wildlife handlers present Birds of Prey programs in a variety of venues including schools, service clubs, and shopping malls.
     Birds of Prey school programs have been presented at Brazoria County schools every year since 2003 in cooperation with Friends of the Brazoria Wildlife Refuges, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and local sponsors.   In previous years EarthQuest has presented programs in more than 30 schools in the Alvin, Angleton, Bay City, Brazosport, Columbia-Brazoria, Damon, Danbury, Sweeny, and Van Vleck School Districts, reaching a total audience of over 15,000 students and teachers.
     Funding for Birds of Prey Programs come from a variety of sources including corporations, service clubs, and individual donors.   ConocoPhillips, through its Sweeny Refinery, is the lead supporter of the 2015 programs.   Friends of Brazoria Wildlife Refuges and Texas Master Naturalist Cradle of Texas Chapter support the program by providing volunteer assistance.
     The Birds of Prey program culminates at Migration Celebration.   This year, Migration Celebration is presenting four Birds of Prey programs at the main Migration Celebration campus at San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge.   These programs are open to the public without charge.
   
Steve Hoddy, Earthquest
Steve is the founder and president of EarthQuest, a non-profit corporation based in Georgia.

Phil Huxford, Birds of Prey Program Manager
Phil has been the driving force behind Birds of Prey school programs, and often serves as a sort of Master of Ceremonies.  

SCHOOL PROGRAM
Brazosport Independent School District
O.W. Roberts Elementary School
Lake Jackson, Texas
March 2014

Ok everybody -- sit  on your bottoms!

Steve Hoddy's truck after unloading the birds. 

Phil Huxford welcomes the students and explains the Birds of Prey program.

The entire student body, and their teachers, attend the Birds of Prey program

Laredo, female Harris hawk

Steve Hoddy tells the students about Laredo

Laredo gets a snack

Phil Huxford with Laredo

Steve Hoddy with Storm, a female Andean Condor

Storm is kept on leash

Steve with Storm

Storm gets a snack

Storm shows off her white wing feathers

Still working on that snack


Students return to class