Winter Birds and Owl Pellets at Gateway

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On a mild Thursday (Jan. 26), members of the Lifestyles Media Department went to Gateway National Recreation Area at Great Kills for a program on birds. It was just after a nor’easter had hit the area, and Park Services Ranger Kathy Garofalo explained that the birds had deserted the feeders. So with some models and magazines, she introduced us to a number of winter birds and provided color pencils and clay to create our own. Then for those who wanted a little more scientific experience, she provided owl pellets to be dissected. We learned that owls eat rodents, moles, shrews and birds. They swallow their prey whole, but they cannot digest the bones and fur, so they cough it back up in a pellet. Yum!

Thanks Kathy,

We really enjoyed our visit to Gateway’s Education Field Center in Great Kills Park. We liked the location, seeing the harbor in the distance, and learning about owls and other birds.

We appreciated your expertise and knowledge and hospitality.

You educated us about things we didn’t know before.

Thanks for helping us feel like scientists, especially when we dissected the owl pellets and collected the bones of a shrew and other animals.

It was also fun to make clay birds and to learn animal facts.

Best Regards,

Lifestyles Media Department

Anthony DiCostanzo, Anthony DiFato, Riki Garcia, Joseph Jones, Christopher Lazzaro, Greg Perosi and Eric Schwacke

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