The Junior Avian Ambassador Program
Promoting environmental stewardship and scientific interest in the natural world by educating children about wild birds.
Our interactive, hands-on presentations are one hour in length and begin with an introduction to the Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre and its important work. Learn about our “celebirdy”, Violet the Turkey Vulture and our education ambassador, Indigo, an American Kestrel. Each presentation ends with a discussion on how to respectfully observe our feathered friends and what to do if you find an injured bird. The bulk of the presentation is grade/group specific and covers expectations from the Ontario Science Curriculum in a unique and fun way.
Additional activity outlines specific to the presentation, which can be done before or after the presentation, are available for teachers and leaders.
$100 for a one hour presentation and access to additional activity outlines.
*A modest travel fee might be added for distances farther than 25 km from the Centre.
Access to additional activities, without a presentation, in exchange for a small donation to the Centre.
If you would like more information or to book a presentation please contact Patty McLaughlin at .
Presentation Topics For Elementary Grades
Kindergarten & Grade 1
Needs, Habitats, and Characteristics of Birds
Students will identify where birds live and the dangers they face in their habitats. Using bird artifacts, students will have the hands-on opportunity to compare the similarities and differences between many local bird species.
- Kindergarten: Schoolyard Habitat Survey and Bird Scavenger Hunt, and Build Your Family Bird Nest Craft
- Grade 1: Bird vs Bat Venn Diagram, Create a Bird with Common Shapes Craft
Presentation A: Life Cycles of Birds
Students will learn why eggs are an engineering feat by conducting several “eggsperiments” and then learn about baby bird development through photos and videos from the Centre.
Naked Egg Experiment, and Nest Cam Observation
Presentation B: Adaptations of Beaks, Feet, and Feathers
Students will learn about the three main feather types and adaptations of beaks and feet through hands-on activities using bird artifacts.
Adaptations of Beaks and Build a Beak Challenge, and Bird Research Project
Bird Nests and Baby Birds
Through pictures, videos, and closely examining bird nests, students will learn about nest construction, including materials used, building techniques, and their location in nature. Students will also learn the basics of bird development, dangers baby birds face in nature, and participate in the “Momma Bird Challenge” game.
Design and Build a Bird Nest, and Cats and Birds Survey
Bird Habitats and Communities
Students will learn which bird communities live in different habitats, closely examine bird artifacts to learn about unique adaptations that help birds survive, and expand on bird adaptations further by learning specifically about Owls.
Create-a-Bird Challenge, and an Owl Pellet Dissection (cost an additional $1 per child)
Compare Human and Bird Biological Systems and Investigate How Birds Use Human-made Structures
Students will learn how a bird’s sight, smell, hearing, and digestive system differ from humans. Students will discuss how human-made structures can benefit or pose risks to birds. We will then study how the Chimney Swift, Peregrine Falcon, and Barn Swallow have all adapted to use human structures to their advantage.
Perch Design Challenge, Digestive Tract Investigation, Reduce Window Impacts, and an Owl Pellet Dissection (cost an additional $1 per child)
Using pictures, videos, and bird artifacts, students will learn about body characteristics, movement, and behaviour that will help sharpen their identification skills so they may become citizen scientists and submit their bird survey results online. We will also explore maps of Ottawa to discuss areas of high and low biodiversity as well as increased human impacts.
Schoolyard Biodiversity Survey, and Bird Survey, Build a Nest Box (please inquire for material availability)
Not Part of a Group?
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Education Day so you can join us for a presentation and activities at a community space near you!
Want to Do More to Help the Birds?
Complete one of the 10 Junior Avian Ambassador Missions to help your backyard birds and earn an official Junior Avian Ambassador pin and certificate!