Activity Idea - Make your own talons
Print out two copies of the Talon Craft page from the downloadable resources below, ideally on cardstock (if you print on regular paper, try glueing them to thin cardboard, like from a cereal box). Color and cut out on the outer most line. Then fasten the tabs around your wrists, you can use sticky backed velcro or punch a hole in each of the tabs and put a string through the holes, so you can tie the tabs closed. Attach the tabs around your wrists so you can wear the talons, and pretend you're a raptor, like in this photo,
Watch This - How to nails grow and Harpy Eagles
This short video talks about how our nails grow, since bird talons are made out of keratin, just like our nails, they grow in a similar way. Here's another clip to watch from Jeff Corwin, featuring a Harpy Eagle, which is a lot bigger then Florida's Bald Eagles! At 0:30, Jeff talks about Harpy Eagle talons.
Activity Idea - Grip Strength
Bald Eagle's can grip thier talons at over 300 psi, and a Great Horned Owl has over 500 psi (here's a link explaining pressure and psi). Human grip strength can be measured most easily with a hand held dynamometer. Assuming most of you don't have a dynamomter sitting at home, you can also test your grip with a bathroom scale. Follow the activity outlined in this article to test your grip psi. Hold a bathroom scale between your hands, the face of the scale towards your body, arms out, hands on the side of the scale, like a hamburger. Then squeeze as hard as you can, record the highest number, and divide by the square inches of your palm (activity is also outlined here in this video, at 1:00).
Watch This - The Neat Thing About Bird Feet
This video was made at the Center 6 years ago, but has some great info about raptor feet (and talons)!
External Links to check out -
Article from National Audubon Society, Talon Talents.
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