My Public Lands

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    Some students get their hands dirty as they explore an abandoned burrow. A spider crawling through the snow brings a flock of fearless students. The last group of the day searches for a bald eagle in the distance.

    A little bit of snow, a pair of eagles, and loads of enthusiasm was all that was needed to make the Beckton Outdoor Science School day a success. BLM’s Buffalo Field Office employees helped Audubon Rockies teach 1st graders about the water cycle and how animals stay warm in winter and lead winter nature hikes to find signs of animal life in the snow.

    Overall it was a successful day outside. We found ample evidence of wildlife: deer tracks in the newly fallen snow, plenty of scat under said snow, hair caught under fences, a nest on the school building, and burrows in the sides of hills, even one with a distinctive odor inside…  There was also a special appearance made by a pair of bald eagles. They joined us at the start of the day, took off on a break during lunch, then rejoined us for the rest of the day, making their grand exit just as soon as they were shown to the last group of day.

    Judging from the excitement that some learning time outside provided, I’d say there might just be some future BLM employees within these pictures.

    -Story by Hillary Duncan; Photos by Hillary Duncan and Sarah Hackworth

    About Hillary Duncan:  I graduated from Purdue University last year. Before this most recent adventure out west, I’d spent my entire life in Indiana. I am currently working as a Chicago Botanic Garden Conservation and Land Management Intern at the Buffalo Field Office in the range and wildlife programs.


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