Pupils learn about the amazing world of birds

Royal Society Christmas Lectures, University of Sheffield,'Professor Tim Birkhead, from the  Department of Animal and Plant Sciences.''BIrds are Amazing
Royal Society Christmas Lectures, University of Sheffield,'Professor Tim Birkhead, from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences.''BIrds are Amazing

MORE than 870 children from 20 Sheffield schools took part in a science lesson about the amazing world of birds.

Modelled on the famous Royal Society Christmas Lectures, the event was hosted on Tuesday by Prof Tim Birkhead of the University of Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences and covered everything from enormous ostriches to newborn chicks.

Prof Birkhead, who is a fellow of the Royal Society and has studied birds for over 40 years, said: “By showing just how incredible birds are, in so many ways, our aim is to inspire young people, to excite them about biology as a subject and make clear that it is possible to have a career studying birds.”

After the lecture, youngsters joined interactive workshops hosted by 50 university volunteers. They also got the chance to meet a brood of three-day-old chicks and to watch an eagle in flight.

George Caborn, aged nine, of Charnock Hall Primary in Gleadless, said: “I was very impressed to hear that peregrine falcons can fly up to 200 mph – that is faster than a car! I thought the whole event was very interesting and I was shocked by how long the eagle’s talons were. It was a very big bird.”

Event organiser Dr Fiona Hunter said: “It’s fantastic to see so many youngsters from all over Sheffield being inspired by the wonders of the natural world and having such fun at the same time.

“People are already asking what our lecture will be about next year. It’ll be a really difficult to top this one but we like a challenge.”