Many find it surprising that every bird is an individual, with his or her own unique personality and story. My presentations consist of laptop-projected photographs and tales of the wide variety of birds I have rescued and cared for, each having suffered some kind of mishap in today's world. Programs vary according to grade, and age-appropriate photos can include a nestfull of orphaned Blue Jays, a Baltimore Oriole minus his tailfeathers, or a paint-covered Herring Gull; a Peregrine Falcon whose beak was repaired after he collided with the Tappan Zee Bridge, an x-ray of a Bald Eagle peppered with shotgun pellets, or a Red-tailed Hawk and a Black Snake locked in battle, both delivered to my door fully alive (but tired).
I have yet to address a group of students who have not delighted me with their attention, surprise, enthusiasm, and eventual barrage of questions. I always leave with renewed hope for the natural world.