Mysterious Guest Over Campus Today

Jesus tells us to “consider the birds of the air.”

And today, Redwood students did just that.

Just before the beginning of school this morning, several students along the east side of campus noticed a large bird high up in the tree branches, silently perched among the leaves, standing virtually motionless.

“It’s an owl!”

“No, it’s a seagull!”

“It’s a falcon.”

“Maybe it’s an eagle!”

Someone even said it looked like a penguin.

From the ground, it looked like it could have been almost any of those things. As students eagerly gathered around and looked up into the tree, Michelle French, a seventh-grader, went and asked Mrs. Humphries for her camera and handed it to Mr. Ray who then zoomed in as close as possible and snapped a few photos.

What was this unique bird with brilliant red eyes? No one knew.

But a few students had some ideas.

Seventh grader Raeanna Glueckert said it looked to her like a heron of some kind.

Mrs. Humphries classes spent some time trying to find the bird on line and so did Mr. Ray, who ended up e-mailing the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Some of the seventh-grade English classes even wrote detailed descriptions of the bird, too.

By eighth period, the identity of the mysterious bird had been solved by Mrs. Humphries’ math class. Not long after, the Academy returned Mr. Ray’s email, confirming what the teachers and students of Redwood had already found on their own.

Turns out Ms. Glueckert was right. We’ve been visited by a Black-crowned Night Heron. Here’s the photo from this morning. Our little guest seemed very focused and content.

Night Heron As it turns out, the information shared with us by the Academy says that Night Herons are easier to spot at night, thus their name. So how much of a treat to see one early this morning!

This heron is also a very skillful and aggressive hunter who does his best work – you guessed it – at night.

They live near marshes and wetlands and are actually one of the most common species of heron in the world.

How enjoyable it was for students and teachers to see and consider this bird of the air today, a remarkable day of wonder and discovery. Thanks be to Jesus for sending us our little guest.

May the Lord Jesus continue to bless us all with the wonders of creation.