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Biologist teaches kids importance of conservation | Environment

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Biologist teaches kids importance of conservation
Biologist teaches kids importance of conservation


A local raptor biologist dropped by Holy Family Catholic School in Coeur d'Alene Tuesday to introduce the children to some of her winged-friends, and to teach them a lesson about being good stewards of the Earth.

Jane Fink, of Birds of Prey Northwest, held an hour-long presentation about the importance of conservation, never poaching and habitat preservation to a group of “forward-thinking” fourth through eighth-grade students toward the end of their school day.

Fink wanted the children to understand that birds of prey can be a “bio-indicator,” which means that one can gauge how healthy an ecosystem is by the health of its birds.

“My generation brought birds – peregrine falcons, condors – back from near-extinction,” Fink said. “It's these kids' jobs to sustain their existence.”

The bird specialist brought out a range of species for the kid's to learn about: Roscoe the Raven, Harry the Harrier Hawk, Larry Bird (an Arctic Gyr Falcon), Emma the Peregrine Falcon and Liberty the Bald Eagle.

“I thought it was interesting and really cool to see the birds,” student Jacob Jaeger said. “What I took from it was birds of prey are important to the environment and that we have to take care of them.”

Fink, her apprentice and a handful of volunteers care for 30-40 raptors at a time at Birds of Prey Northwest in Coeur d'Alene. Fink said the center's biggest expense is food, and that they must fundraise $50,000 annually to feed the birds.

While the center is a project she enjoys, she said her dream would be to open a Rapter Center in CdA where visitors could view the birds in their natural settings – for example, a barn owl in a barn or a harrier hawk over a field.

“If you kids help raise $4 million we can get it done,” she said to the students.

To learn more about Birds of Prey Northwest or to book Fink for a presentation at your child's school, visit their website.

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