"See the wood has a different color to it? It's probably because the owl's claws tried to drop down inside. It's not uncommon for a snake to get up there. Because last week, there was a snake in the box."
Gary Kratzer is showing SWLA 7th and 8th graders a bird house high up in the trees at the Axiall McNeese University Nature Lab.
It was designed to be an outdoor experience for students and teachers who don't have access to wildlife near their school.
Now, the students here at the Nature Lab use high tech devices to try to keep an eye on nature.
There's a light and moisture meter and even an iPad.
"I'm monitoring the temperature of the soil," said Trey Allen of Lacassine High School.
When asked what he was hoping to find out, Allen said, "That the soil was colder because it's closer to the water, not being exposed by the sun."
These students are part of this week's State Police Camp and are learning about their state's habitat.
"It's very humid and it's a great place to live because there's so many great things around you with different plants. You learn a lot," said Allison Barker, of S.J. Welsh Middle School. She has learned a lot about the environment.
And rather than just read something out of a book, these kids get to see it in person.
"It's almost all hands on out here. Everything they do is activity oriented. It's not just a walk in the woods," Kratzer said.
If you'd like to get involved with Nature Lab, contact Kratzer at 337-475-5817.