LA CRESCENTA -- Krystal Llera became one of the trees in a human
forest and had a hawk fly within inches of her Tuesday inside the gym at
Rosemont Middle School.
It was all part of a program that started with an assembly about birds
of prey -- featuring live birds -- presented to the seventh-grade
students and arranged by the Parent-Teacher Assn.
“It was scary, because it felt like the bird’s wing was going to hit
you,” Krystal said of the close encounter.
During the assembly, Bobby the Great Horned Owl, Lady Margaret the
Harris Hawk and Rowan the Lanner Falcon from Egypt sat patiently on their
perches, placed within a few feet of the first row of students on the gym
Presenter Tallon Knight, dressed in medieval European costume and
speaking with a Celtic accent, spent the first part of the assembly
explaining how each bird hunts.
“When the bird catches its prey, it snaps its neck in two, instantly
killing it,” he said in a booming voice that grew louder and louder.
Lady Margaret then demonstrated how a hawk flies. At prompting from
Knight and his costumed helper, known simply as “Briged,” Lady Margaret
flew over the crowd of students. She came so close that many students had
to duck to avoid a head-on collision with the hawk.
She also flew through the human forest to demonstrate how a hawk can
maneuver in narrow spaces.
The birds and their presenters made stops at science classes afterward
to give students more detailed information that could not be presented
during the assembly.
Members of the PTA organized the program to provide the
seventh-graders with an educational and fun way to learn about the birds,
as they begin to study the topic in their science classes.
The birds and presenters were from Falcons’ Court, a nonprofit
organization that travels to schools and libraries in the state, making
educational presentations about birds of prey.