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May 30, 2017

Talking Points

In California, Arizona, and Ohio, bald eagles and an owl lay eggs right outside the schoolhouse door

Real-life nature study as birds of prey nest and lay eggs outside American schools

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This article is one in a series at The 74 that profiles the heroes, victories, success stories, and random acts of kindness to be found at schools all across America. Read more of our recent inspiring profiles at

All across the country, elementary school is for the birds!
In Milpitas, California, a pair of bald eagles took up residence in a redwood tree outside Curtner Elementary School — and hatched a baby eaglet.

Who's hungry!?!? #BaldEagles #EM1MkII

A post shared by Stan Szeto (@stanszeto) on

“Having them by the school is really cool, because you can be outside and you see them flying around,” fifth-grader Rachael Musharbash told The Mercury News. “They are our national bird.”

The parent birds work as a pair, providing food in the form of ducks and coots.


Mom and Dad even seem to understand their place in U.S. history, timing a fly-by as students recited the Pledge of Allegiance, according to a local news report. “I don’t even think a Hollywood scriptwriter could write that one up,” Stan Szeto, a photographer and parent of a student at the school, told KGO-TV.

Proud Parents. #BaldEagles #EM1MKII

A post shared by Stan Szeto (@stanszeto) on

Meanwhile, in Tucson, Arizona, a great horned owl built a nest under a bush next to the front door of Robles Elementary School over spring break, giving the kids quite a treat when they got back from vacation.

“They get to study the life cycle of the owls and how long it will take before those eggs hatch,” Principal Chandra Young told KGUN-TV.

And, in Avon Lake, Ohio, a resident pair of bald eagles named Stars and Stripes laid three eggs in a nest near Redwood Elementary School.

Last year, the pair hatched two eggs at the same spot — and the couple are so popular that there’s an eagle cam, so fans can keep an eagle eye on their fine feathered friends.