Oakwood First-Graders Adopt Injured Bird

An Eastern Screech Owl with eye injury is one of the temporary guests at Sweetbriar.
An Eastern Screech Owl with eye injury is one of the temporary guests at Sweetbriar.

First-grade classes visited The Sweetbriar Nature Preserve in Smithtown this fall. In the woodlands, they observed the deciduous and evergreen trees and listened to blue jays and woodpeckers.  In the sunny meadow, they saw butterflies and bees enjoying the last of the milkweed and the black-eyed Susans.

Since Sweetbriar is a refuge for wounded animals, so they also saw eagles, hawks, and owls that are being cared for by the Sweetbriar staff.  It was a wonderful experience to see these magnificent birds up close.

In the reptile room, everyone observed a box turtle and felt his hard protective shell. Students were surprised when they felt the dry, scaly skin of the resident corn snake.  In the mammal room, they met a rabbit and an opossum and discussed ways that they are similar and different from human beings.

Students prepared for their trip by reading, writing, illustrating, and discussing ways that mammals and reptiles are similar and different, by learning the attributes of birds and butterflies, and by practicing how to walk quietly through the woods.

Oakwood students had an enjoyable and educational visit to the Sweetbriar Preserve. Everyone looks forward to “adopting” a Sweetbriar animal and contributing to its care.