Bald Eagle Migration Update: February 18, 2004
Today's Report Includes:
This Week's Map and Data
Here's the latest migration map and data from the eagles!
Link to Latest Data:
How hard is this to do? What generalizations can be made? Divide your class into 3 groups so each group can chose their own eagle. Use the data we've provided so far and make a "winter range map" for your eagle. (Or make copies of our map to analyze.) Your job is to define each bald eagle's home range or "winter range." (See definitions below.) Try to write the best verbal description you can.
Writer in the Field: Winter Notebook
This week come along on a winter fieldtrip to a Bald eagle hotspot in Minnesota. Put on your hats and mittens - grab your binoculars- and come to a special place where the fishing is good.
Winter Counts, or Why Count Eagles in Winter?
Year after year New York State participates in the national midwinter bald eagle survey. Over a period of a couple of weeks in January an eagle-spotting team goes out on land and in the air to count eagles. These surveys are important because they help us manage eagle habitat and understand the relationships between habitat development and eagle populations.
Peter Nye says New York's eagle counts are always sure to be the highest in January.
Lots of Crows Lure in Eagles: Discussion of Challenge Question #2
Kathy and Pete like to entertain crows for breakfast at the trap site. We asked you to think about this and see if you could answer CQ #2, "Why do you think it is a good sign for lots of crows to arrive early at their bait?"
comes down to comfort and security! Because the goal for baiting the eagles
is to get them comfortable with coming to the bait, crows can play an
Students from Chelsea, VT, Iselin, NJ and Armenian Sisters' Academy, in Lexington, MA took the challenge and we found out that you understand this relationship.
Kathy Michell adds this,
Why Use Fresh Greenery? Discussion to Challenge Question #3
Challenge Question #3 asked an interesting question, and one that we can only really speculate on: "Why might eagles put greenery into their nests?"
Your answers show that you are definitely starting to think like scientists.
You submitted lots of great ideas: greens might attract a mate to a nest, soften the nest for the eggs, attract insects that would make an easy meal for a nestling, or simply to make the nest clean, fresh and comfortable. Thanks also to home-schoolers in Chelsea, VT, 7th Graders at Armenian Sisters' Academy, Lexington, MA, and students from Iselin Middle School in NJ.
P. S.: Scientists add a couple more interesting thoughts: greens may actually serve as an insect repellent or show a clear signal to other eagles that this nest is well-tended so they better keep away.
What's in a Name: Classroom Monikers for Migrating Eagles
Do you find it kind of cumbersome to use numbers instead of names? Why not make your own personal classroom names for this year's satellite-tracked eagles? Their names should reflect important attributes surrounding each bird. Research and gather information about each bird. Put all the clues together and try:
Bald Eagle Adaptations: From Head to Toe
An ornithologist seeing an eagle for the first time could instantly guess that this bird is a predator, it probably catches fish by plucking them from the water with its feet, it flies long distances without a lot of flapping, nests in trees, and mates for life. How? Fascinating secrets are revealed when we study how an organism's body--and its behavior--are adapted to its environment.
An "adaptation" is a physical or behavioral feature that evolved in response to an organism's environment, due to pressures for survival. How a species looks (its anatomy), as well as how it behaves (how it moves, obtains food, reproduces, responds to danger, etc.) are all based in the species' evolutionary history.
Each week, we'll pose a Challenge Question related to the next week's featured adaptation. Remember: There's always a WHY behind WHAT you see. So whenever you see an unusual behavior or body part, ask yourself WHY...Are you ready?
How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions:
an e-mail message to: email@example.com
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