Have you met Boon? He is a Quaker Parrot that lives at APEC and he is very popular. Boon also has distant relatives that live all over Queens! You read that right, Quaker Parrots are not only surviving, but thriving in NYC. Today we learned all about these amazing birds and we made some special gifts for Boon. We made him toys! Parrots love toys and they are a great enrichment activity if you hide some food in their toys. Check out what our young scientists created! Would you like to see Boon playing with his new toys? Be sure to follow us on social media for when we post Boon enjoying his gifts!
Hoppy Thursday everyone! Summer Science kids continued their focus on urban wildlife by learning about rabbits. Cottontail rabbits are the native rabbit found in NY parks. Have you seen any on the trails? Kids got a chance to compare the pelts of native wild rabbits to the fur coloration of domestic rabbits we have at APEC. We built rabbit launchers (only toy rabbits were launched) and we practiced jumping and twisting like rabbits on our trampoline! We wrapped things up by taking some time to brush our rabbits and give them some TLC!
Did you know that Monarch butterflies migrate over 3,000 miles each year? It's true! Several generations will migrate to Mexico where they overwinter. Lucky for us, monarchs can be found in NYC during the summer months. Female butterflies lay their eggs on the leaves of the milkweed plant and we got to examine a live milkweed plant and dissect a seed pod! We even played a migration game and learned about some of the challenges migrating butterflies face. Our special animal guest for today was an insect that looks quite different from a butterfly. It was a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach! Bonus fun fact- did you know butterflies taste using their feet?! Don't try that at dinner tonight!
What does the fox say?! Well, we don't know but, we DO know what they eat, how they walk, and that they live here in NYC! Yes - our summer science kids continued learning about urban wildlife with Ms. Karen and focused on the Red Fox. Children analyzed skull models, identified tracks, and learned about the fox's life history through a series of fun activities. We went on a walk through the park in search of clues that a Red Fox may have been around. These animals are very wary of humans and that makes them very difficult to spot. Fresh winter snow is a good place to find fox tracks. What amazing wildlife we have in our backyard!
Happy Monday! Today was kind of 'nutty' for our summer science kids! They kicked off a week of urban wildlife by learning about an animal most of us see daily - the squirrel! These adorable, if we do say so ourselves, rodents are an essential part of natural areas in NYC and do their part in planting trees by burying nuts and seeds to feed on throughout the winter. These fluff-balls are forgetful and the seeds that are not eaten often germinate and GROW! A lesser known fact is that squirrels make nests called dreys in treetops. Though they are hard to spot amongst the summer foliage, look for their leafy nests on your next autumn nature walk! We can't wait to see what's in store for tomorrow!
Hello families! We are so excited to have all of you spending your summers with APEC! This blog will be your go-to spot for updates on our Summer SENSES programs. We will post daily photos of all the fun the kiddos are having and include descriptions of the day's activities. You can navigate each week's updates using the Categories menu on this page.