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Got cabin fever? Montana FWP invites families to get wild with reptiles and raptors

An American kestrel is one of Montana Wild's ambassador raptors.
Montana Wild - FWP
An American kestrel is one of Montana Wild's ambassador raptors.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ education center is holding two special programs next week to introduce kids of all ages to some of our wild neighbors.

On Monday, Dec. 27, from 3 to 4 p.m. Montana Wild will livestream a class on Facebookon the state’s native reptiles and amphibians, addressing how these ectotherms — or cold blooded creatures — survive Montana winters.

"There is not much warmth to be had, so they have to have some very special adaptations to be able survive the winter and make it all the way to the warmer summer months," explained Corie Rice, an educator with Montana Wild.

The day after, educators will host a class on the state's native raptors, like eagles, hawks and owls. The class will be streamed live on Facebook at 10 a.m. Making guest appearances will be some birds of prey from Montana Wild's rehabilitation center that cannot be returned to the wild because of their injuries

"Those birds now have the important job of being ambassadors for their species," Rice said. "So they can make appearances at programs just like this and teach students about their species and their importance to Montana’s ecosystem."

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.