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Morning Sun
  • Nature lovers get a bird's eye view

  • Pittsburg State University students and some Pittsburg community members got an up-close look at some birds of prey Wednesday afternoon.

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  • Pittsburg State University students and some Pittsburg community members got an up-close look at some birds of prey Wednesday afternoon.
    As part of PSU’s Earth Week events, Delia Lister, director of Nature Reach — an outreach of the biology department and part of the department's Life Science Education Program — brought four of the program’s 11 raptors to the Overman Student Center’s Crimson and Gold Ballroom to teach guests about the carnivorous birds.
    “I hope they get an appreciation of raptors, their ecological importance and beauty,” Lister said. “Raptors are one of our most popular programs, and this is a way to give back to the university and show people what I do on a daily basis.”
    Lister spoke about the food chain, how the birds get their food and what they eat, and what people should do if they find a raptor in need of help. Many people don’t what to do if they find an injured raptor, Lister said. All raptors are protected by law, and it is illegal to try to heal or raise one. Many of the young raptors people find are not orphans.
    Lister introduced “Bolt,” an American kestrel, “Rugby,” a tiny eastern screech owl, “Harriet” the Harris hawk, and a barred owl. She also spoke about the tell-tale signs of the presence of raptors, such as the pellets they expel, and how humans impact raptors’ populations.
    “Any time you can bring in animals and talk about environmental issues and how the students can impact it, you can help them become more conscious,” Lister said.
    If you find a young raptor, Lister said, try to find the nest and carefully put it back. She said the bird’s parents will probably still care for it. If, after several hours, they don’t return, contact the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks at (620) 231-3173.

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