Polk Central celebrates birds during annual Day of Discovery

Polk Central Elementary School hosted its annual Day of Discovery in mid-November.

This year’s theme was “The Year of the Bird, 2018” to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which has saved the lives of millions of birds.

Presenters included:

  • Ted Bell, falconer
  • Stephen Tillotson and Tyson Phillips, State Park rangers
  • Margeau Lance, Chimney Rock State Park
  • Pam Torlina and Max Howes, Conserving Carolina
  • Trudie Henninger and Libbie Dobbs-Alexander, North Carolina Arboretum
  • Jason Faulds, Polk County Agricultural Economic Development

Polk Central fifth graders led sessions on such topics as :

  • Grizzly Gizzards: Students simulated a bird’s digestive system using pebbles and plastic bags
  • Turkey Talk: Students made turkey call devices and learned about the (approximately) 28 calls that turkeys make in the wild
  • Mystery Pellets: Students dissected owl pellets to identify what the owl had just eaten
  • The Bird Olympics: Students measured themselves against birds in events such as speed of running/flying, sense of smell, ability to eat enough to gain five percent body weight for migration, length of arm/wingspan and speed of flapping
  • The Fine Art of Nesting: Students tried to build a bird’s nest
  • The Great Migration Challenge: Students experienced some of the challenges that birds face when migrating such as confusing lights, wires, windows, buildings, cats, pesticides, lack of food/water/space
  • Oily Problem; Students learned how feathers keep birds dry and then tried to clean oil off of feathers
  • Food for the Brood: Students played a water relay game to model the effort that parent birds expend to feed their chicks
  • Aiming to Save: Students played a mini-golf game to learn about essential components of habitat (food, water, shelter, space, air) and how the Endangered Species Act can assist birds when they are missing safe habitat.
  • Bird Buffet: Students made pine cone/peanut butter bird feeders