Nature is full of wonder, beauty, and unbelievably extreme animals! This week we learned about the smartest, fastest, and deadliest animals in Colorado and why they have evolved such special traits.
Monday was a hot start to our week, and with temperatures climbing we looked into some of the extreme adaptations animals have to deal with high temperatures, fast prey, and other wild natural phenomena. We broke down what it means to be extreme and found some wild critters in and along our river.
On Tuesday we welcomed special guests from Nature’s Educators who showed us some other extreme animals, up close and personal. We met a Harris Hawk who has been trained to hunt with people, a Crested Caracara, also known as a Mexican Eagle for their hunting habits, a domestic dwarf rabbit, a garter snake, and a Cockatoo, who could live up to 70 years! We asked many questions and learned so much about how each one of these animals has adapted to live in extreme environments.
Wednesday was dedicated to our local prairie beasts: bison, prairie dogs, deer, elk, and pronghorn. These extreme animals have lived in this environment for millennia, and we can learn so much from them and their ungulate (hooved) relatives. Then, at critter crawl we finally caught our first crawdads of the week! These extremely small critters are also a cornerstone of river ecosystems.
Thursday was field day! It was a scorcher, but we still managed to have fun in the sun all day. We learned about safety in bear country, how snakes can use heat to improve their vision, and how spiders have super powers in their own webs. Then, after a brief break in the sprinklers we headed back outside for a whole group critter crawl and even upped our numbers of crawdads caught.
As the week cooled down, so did our Friday. We finished up our week by exploring the extreme animals of the bird families, learning about how smart crows and other corvids can be. Then we were even able to see a hawk flying over our river all day searching for food and shelter. In the afternoon we congratulated our fellow campers and learned which extreme animal each friend resembles and ended the day with an extremely fun bubble party!