Bird Observations


A habitat is a space (which includes food, water and shelter) that is suitable for a particular species to live and reproduce.  Each bird species has a particular habitat that is necessary for its survival.  It is important to note what habitats are currently available in your environment and decide whether that particular habitat is suitable for your bird species based on your bird species basic requirements for food, water, shelter and space.

If not, specific habitat changes to the current environment may need to be made so your bird species can survive there.

In each section, before answering the questions, you must carefully observe and explore
the study area.

Windspeed

It is important to measure the wind speed in an ecosystem because the wind is a very powerful force in shaping the way an ecosystem looks and feels.  Strong winds have the ability to make air temperatures feel colder than they actual are, can knock over plants and shrubs, break branches off trees, and be an indication of changes in the weather.  Scientists use traditional methods (beaufort scale) and modern methods (anemometers and advanced weather vanes) to monitor wind changes with the environment to study the impact of wind on the living and nonliving parts of the environment.  

Use the anemometer in your field box to determine the current wind speed. An anemometer rotates wind through propeller blades to calculate in miles per hour how fast the wind is blowing.  Turn on the anemometer by holding the "MODE" button for at least 3 seconds.  Make sure the anemometer is in the wind speed mode (screen should show 0.0 mph.).  If not, click the "MODE" button as many times as necessary to get to the wind speed mode. Once in the wind speed mode, there are three different measuring options, illustrated by different symbols in the bottom left corner of the screen:

 

Ø--  Average wind speed

▲  --  Maximum wind speed

(No symbol)  --  Current wind speed

 

 

Click the "+" button to change the measuring option until the screen shows the symbol representing average wind speed.  Standing completely still, hold the anemometer in your hand, and extend your arm all the way out.  Move your entire body until you are facing the direction the wind is blowing.  When the measurement on the anemometer remains steady for at least 5 seconds record your findings in the "Wind Speed" blank below. 

Air Temperature

Use the Vernier LabQuest, temperature sensor, and "Celsius to Fahrenheit Conversion Chart" in your field box to determine air temperature within the ecosystem in Celsius and Fahrenheit.  Turn on your LabQuest.  Plug in the temperature sensor to any channel at the top of the LabQuest.  Hold the temperature sensor straight out in front of your body at eye level.  Click the green arrow collect button and collect data for 30 seconds.  On the graph screen, click "Analyze", then "Statistics", then "Temperature."  Look at the results and determine the average (or mean) of your data and record your findings in the "Air Temperature °C" data entry blank below.  Round your air temperature reading in degrees Celsius to the nearest whole number and use the "Celsius to Fahrenheit Conversion Chart" in your field box to determine the air temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.  Record that number in the "Air Temperature °F" data entry blank below.

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mph

Habitat Evaluation

All birds need food, water, shelter and space to live.  However, the amount and size of these requirements is unique to each bird species.  It is important to evaluate the current habitat for each of these requirements to decide if your bird species basic requirements for food, water, shelter and space are available in the habitat.  If not, changes to the habitat might be required.

For each season, list all food sources that are available in the area for your particular bird species to eat.  Inter none if no food is available for your bird during the season.

Based on the shelter requirements for your bird, does this site provide adequate space for the following activities?

Conclusion and Best Management Practice

 

It is important for humans and nature to co-exist in a way that is positive for both.  Once your habitat has been evaluated for the types of habitat present, the amount of food, water, shelter and space available, and impact of human activities.  It is necessary to evaluate ALL aspects and make management decisions that are in the best interest for both the birds and humans and allow both to interact together in a positive manner.

For each requirement, list at least one improvement to the site that would be beneficial for your bird.

Adapted from the Council for Environmental Education's Flying Wild: An Educator's Guide to Celebrating Birds.