Free Classroom Bird Presentations


Stuffed birds that are used in classroom presentations

Mounted birds that are used in classroom presentations (Photo by Penny Briscoe)

The Audubon Society of Kalamazoo is continuing to offer high quality bird programs throughout the school year. Education Co-chair Russ Schipper, a very knowledgeable birder, does the presentations for elementary and middle school classrooms.

The programs cover many aspects of birds, though are geared around the selection of mounted birds: Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Cardinal, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Mallard, American Woodcock, Baltimore Oriole, Dark-eyed Junco, Sora, Black-throated Blue Warbler.

Several aspects of the MI Science Standards are informally addressed, such as: life cycles, life requirements, environmental adaptation, structures and functions, survival and the food web.

I also have and use: recorded bird songs, feathers, nests, pellets, and pictures to illustrate different facts and concepts about birds and their environment.

During the past fourteen years I have visited well over 600 classrooms, from pre- school to 7th grade. Many of those classrooms I visit year after year.

While I can (and will) present to larger groups, I prefer to present to individual classrooms. To me that makes the programs more personal for the students and gives me time to show the birds to each student and answer more of the their questions. I encourage questions.

NEW FOR 2016: I now am offering an all owl program in addition to the mixed birds program. For this presentation I have: Snowy, Great-horned, Barred, Eastern Screech and Northern Saw-Whet Owls. The format is similar to the mixed birds program, though I expect this program may run a little shorter.

Generally for grades 3 and up I find that 45 minutes is about the minimum amount of time needed, though an hour is better. For the younger students 20 minutes to 45 minutes is more usual. But I am very adaptable and will do what the teacher wants.

Also, I offer field trips to natural areas, schoolyards or any area of your choice; these can be bird watching or general nature trips. These programs are also free.

To set up a presentation or field trip please contact Russ Schipper at: or 269-375-7210.