Thu, May 23, 2024 3:30 PM

Falcon centre making new friends


William Woodworth

Trust staff welcomed 20 children to the centre on Thursday as they put their new puppet, Aroha, and accompanying book to the test.

The move will hopefully help encourage a love of wildlife in future generations explains Trust manager Holly Turner.

“Getting kids involved from day dot is an awesome opportunity to inspire not only a love of kārearea, but a fascination with wildlife and a curiosity to learn more about species that need our help.

“Together, we read the story of Kōwhai and Tahi and the children then got to walk through our facility and peek in at the real kārearea who live here as part of our conservation programme.

“The birds were just as curious as the children were by the visit!”

Kārearea Falcon Trust Manager Holly Turner, left, and administration and education co-ordinator Antonia O’Donnell introduce Aroha the falcon puppet to children from Education Angels. Photo: William Woodworth.

The small guests from Education Angels were given a tour of the centre and given the first copies of the activity book Meet Kōwhai and Tahi.

Thanks to a Forest & Bird Valder Conservation Grant, the Trust was able to design and print the new education resource ideal for younger and pre-school aged children.

The book follows the story of one of the Trust’s resident breeding pairs and includes simple but fun activities, to help kids learn about kārearea.

Antonia says she and Holly are grateful to have Education Angels reach out.

“Our current education reach is for year three and four primary school students through the successful Karearea Falcons in Marlborough Schools Programme funded by Marlborough Lines.

“Education Angels actually reached out to us at the perfect time, and it’s been great for both us and the birds to have them here.”

Te hau the kārearea was especially curious to see the young visitors at the centre. Photo: William Woodworth.

Education Angels’ Nelson/Marlborough coordinator Robyn Lynn says the pre-schoolers were eager to visit.

“Our aim is to give children wings to fly, and opportunities like visiting the Trust are quite literally doing that.

“With opportunities like today, and having more local people being interested in running their own in-home childcare, it’s an amazing learning experience for our Tamariki”.

“Everyone was really well behaved, including the falcons,” agreed Holly.

“I’m hoping we can grow the support behind our education work, that way we’d be able to engage preschools Marlborough wide, so local little ones would have the chance to learn about the awesome kārearea who live here.”

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