Keeping a close eye on the audience before her, Sophie, an 11-year-old Peregrine Falcon, seemed at ease as she surveyed students from her perch in Mount Madonna School’s (MMS) high school science classroom.
Sophie is under the care and supervision of Glenn Stewart, Director of the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group. The Group is part of the Seymour Marine Discovery Center at the University of California’s Long Marine Laboratory. Stewart was invited to come and speak to MMS’ third grade and AP Biology students about the significance of bringing the Peregrine Falcon back from the brink of extinction as an inspiration for tackling other environmental challenges facing society.
“Peregrine Falcons were almost extinct in California,” commented third grader Ronan Lee, “and we got to meet a real one!”
Stewart helped establish a successful Bald Eagle restoration program in the 1980s; and also served as the founding Executive Director for the Ventana Wildlife Society. As part of his current work, Stewart trains students and members of the public to participate in volunteer peregrine falcon nest monitoring as an affiliate of the Seymour Center.
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Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.