Skip to main content

Raptors in the City

Name:Raptors in the City

Brief Description of the Site:
This site tells the story of the Peregrine Falcon, recently removed from the endangered species list as a conservation success story. The site, the brainchild of Debbie Mathies, provides lesson plans on various levels to teach students about these once endangered birds that now nest in urban skyscrapers, hence "Raptors in the City". The site affords teachers and students an opportunity to study the peregrines through a webcam placed in nests, so that observations can take place without disturbing the birds. A free newsletter is available by clicking on the "sign up" link. Program information, lesson procedures, and additional curriculum materials (for a fee) are available, but much on this site is free. Lessons are aligned with learning standards and curriculum. Nesting season for the birds is listed so one can plan when to present units. This site has served as a resource for many students who have studied conservation and was the collaborator and a partner in providing primary resources in the development of an award winning Thinkquest Junior 2001 web site, entitled "Raptors In The City: A Conservation Success Story".

How to use the site:
Lesson plans, a free "Falcon Flash" e-newsletter about peregrine falcons nesting in urban skyscrapers, a true nesting story of peregrine falcon Buckeye in a Cleveland, Ohio tower (photographed by Scott Wright, Ohio Division of Wildlife Peregrine nest monitor volunteer), and a live falcon cam are some of the site's resources. The story of Buckeye and access to the faconcam which allows one to see the peregrines live through a camera placed in their nests is very exciting. The use of webcams to learn about this once endangered species without disturbing them offers children the opportunity to learn about these birds' behavior, feeding patterns, and how they care for their young. The fact that these birds are known to the Ohio Division of Wildlife and that they have been given names personalizes the project as students come to know them and adopt them while in the wild. The story of Buckeye provides a literacy link to language arts, serving as a model for students to follow should they wish to write and illustrate their own "peregrine falcon" stories. There have been earlier incarnations of this site, but like falcons whose progress it follows, this site has evolved and grown to become a delightful learning tool and resource for educators who want to bring relevant life sciences and nature into their classrooms. Bookmark this site, and its exciting link to the falconcam.

Submitted by:
Debbie Mathies
Edited by Katherine Kuang, Student, PS 56Q