Falcon Cam – July 1, 2018

By LIZ TOTH

July 1, 2018

The chicks are getting so big!  They are now about 5 weeks old and could take their firsts flight this week or next.  If you do not see them in the nest box it is because they have figured out how to move from the ledge of the nest box to the large roof area behind the nest box.

In this large space they can begin to stretch their wings in preparation for their first flights.  This is also a good space to take practice hops and flap their wings to gain strength.  The chicks do not have all of their flight feathers and the younger chick still has quite a bit of white downy feathers.

With the weather being so hot the roof provides a good breeze and also a three foot high wall around the roof to provide protection.  Their parents are always close by watching for danger as the chicks prepare to take their first flights soon.

As of Wednesday they were still spending quite a bit of time in the box but were very close to the ledge:

Falcon Cam Pic July 2

The older chick, who is darker and has more adult feathers, seems to have led the two younger chicks around to the rooftop so you may see an empty box.

We are monitoring the chicks at the Liberty Savings Tower site even when they cannot be seen on the Falcon Cam to make sure they are doing OK and do not need any assistance.

In the image below you can see what the back of the nest box looks like and the pebbled roof with the wall around it where the chicks are spending a lot of their time.

Falcon Nest Box Rear

Liz Toth is the Associate Curator of Live Animals at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.

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DIY Upcycled Air Canon Project!

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Upcycle!

America Recycles Day is this Sunday, November 15 and we want to encourage all of our readers, guests, and friends to make an effort to be a little more “green”. Of course, people have the best of intentions when it comes to recycling, conserving, and reusing, but getting into the groove of being more green can be difficult.

First, here are some need-to-know stats about America’s waste, conservation, and more:

  • The average person produces about 4 pounds of trash a day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste a year.
  • Americans make more than 200 million tons of garbage each year and the EPA estimates that 75% of that is recyclable. Yet our rate of recycling is only about 30%.
  • We generate 21.5 million tons of food waste each year, which is unacceptable, as 48.1 million Americans live in food-insecure homes. If we cut down on food waste and composted, it would reduce the same amount of green house gas as taking 2 million cars off the road.
  • Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to listen to a full album on an iPod. Recycling 100 cans can power your bedroom through a two day Netflix binge of your favorite show.
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The Maker’s Space at the Boonshoft Museum Springfield is dedicated to upcycling projects of all kinds!

America, we can do better, but where do we start? You can start by having a candid conversation with your family about small, fun ways you can start reducing, reusing, and recycling.

To kick things off, visit our “Celebrate Earth Day With “Green” Family Fun post and then scroll below for an awesome DIY upcycling project from the Museum’s Education Department:

A great way of reducing waste — and in turn aid to your impact on the environment — is to reuse your wasted materials. This is often referred to as “Upcycling” and involves re-purposing your trash items in an effort to find another use for them. Such examples include milk carton planters, aluminum can stoves, and recycled art and sculptures made from trash materials.

Use recycled items to create an air cannon and learn about air pressure!

Upcycled Air Canon

Supplies: 

  • 1 toilet paper tube or plastic bottles with the bottom cut out.
  • Used or leftover balloon
  • Duct Tape
  • Scissors

Instructions:

1) Cut the thin end of a balloon off
2) Stretch the wide end to a tube or the bottle with the end cut off
3) Tape it in place
4) Pull on the back were the balloon is taped as far as you can and let it go.

As you pull back on the balloon you build force. Once you let go, you cause that force to move forward and it takes the air inside the tube/bottle with it. As the force of the balloon forces the air out, it creates a vortex as the air reacts to the force of the balloon snapping back into place.

Spend some time upcycling with your kiddos and then be sure to visit us for some green-themed public programming on Sunday, November 15 for America Recycles Day!

Makers Are Getting Things Moving! Join In On All The Fun!

From problem solvers and upcyclers, to DIY robotics newbies—the “Maker Movement” is something everyone can get excited about. To be a “maker” is to be a visionary, a builder, an engineer, a creative, and much, much more. Makers across the country are getting things done in amazing ways—like Brittnay Wegner, who took home the Google Science Fair’s grand prize for developing computer programming technology that accesses tissue samples for breast cancer with 99% accuracy. Brittnay was 17 at the time she developed her invention. The organization, Girls Who Code, has myriad of testimonials from young girls, who, through training in computer skills, have built, modeled, coded their way to create wonderful things:

On graduation night at Google, I was approached with my first ever job offer. Today, at 15, I have two web design jobs to help make ends meet at home. I am teaching my dad to code. He’s now working to become an IT professional to replace his substitute custodian job. My sisters are next on the list.

Moms and dads are using “lifehacks” to kick-start their cleaning, home, and personal projects, teens are upcycling furniture for their dorm rooms and creating apps, and children are engineering robots and programming using their own open source hardware (like the very popular Raspberry Pi).

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FIRST LEGO League Teams create and program LEGO robots.

Even the White House has taken notice of how important makers are to the economy and the world! During the White House’s Week of Making, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Springfield will be hosting public programming themed around “making”—and don’t forget, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Springfield has a designated Maker Space that is filled with creative ways to complete projects. MakerMovement While diving into “maker” activities may seem intimidating, one of the best way to encourage your children to tinker and create is to complete a project with them—and because we at the Museum are huge Astronomy fans (I mean, we only have the coolest Planetarium in the region!) we recommend this DIY Constellation Light Box featured in Make Magazine. Not only do you get to paint, light, and measure, the end result is a beautiful night light for your little one’s bedroom!

LightBox

Credit: Makezine.com

To complete the DIY Constellation Light Box Project click here. To learn more about the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Springfield click here. To learn more about the White House’s Week of Making click here.