While students may be off school for a week, it doesn't mean the learning has to end. Some children spent part of winter break learning about the animals in their own backyard. Barry Wygel takes us to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, where visitors can get up, close and personal with some feathered friends.
FRANKLIN COUNTY, N.Y. -- You probably aren't used to seeing a blue jay in a cage.
"Our live animals are our greatest asset here at the Wild Center. We love bringing them out for programs and they always get people very excited," said Interpretive Naturalist Kendra Ormerod.
Cortland resident Nicholas Djafari seemed most excited about the bard owl. The bard owl is one of the biggest birds the Wild Center has. It took center stage during a class this week that was aimed at giving kids the chance to see their backyard birds in a way they never have before.
"All of the birds, especially the three that were in the program today, are considered non-releasable animals. That means they were either orphaned or injured out in the wild,” said Ormerod.
And while birding is usually considered an outdoor activity, due to weather factors, this year your best bet for seeing your favorite birds may be indoors.
"They call this an interruption year. That's when all the birds from the North used to go down South,” said Long Island resident Bill Labes.
Labes also said that program like this are also good because they can get the next generation of birders started.
"They got to start out young. They can keep going their whole life. A lot of people I know have been birding their whole life," said Labes.
That’s exactly what Cortland resident Nicholas Djafari plans to do, even though he’s a little scared of the bird up close.
"The eyes look evil," said Cortland resident Nicholas Djafari.
He can continue his hobby from the many nature trails the North Country has to offer.