Citizen Science: Birds & Phenology

Look for phenomenal phenology in your community. Watch and ID birds in your neighborhood.

MN 2009 Science Standards: 1.1.1.1.1, 1.1.1.1.2, 3.1.1.1.1, 3.1.1.2.3, 5.1.1.1.1, 5.1.1.2.2, 0.1.1.2.1, 3.1.3.2.1, 3.1.3.2.2, 3.1.3.4.1, 5.1.3.4.1, 7.1.1.2.3, 7.1.1.2.4, 6.1.3.4.1, 8.1.3.4.2

0.4.1.1.3, 0.4.1.1.1, 1.4.3.1.1, 1.4.3.1.2, 2.4.3.1.1, 7.4.2.1.1, 9.1.3.1.1, 9.4.2.1.2

Lesson 1: Phenology – observing plants and animal soften involves noticing and recording seasonal changes over time.  Every species moves through a series of life cycle stages that are related to environmental cues.  The study of these life cycle stages is called phenology and the observable stages are called phenophases.  This kit provides tools to introduce phenology and several types of field guides to aid in observations and submitting to Nature’s Notebook – a citizen and professional science program for gathering observations of plant and animal phenology across the US.  (nn.usa.npn.org) Feel free to also request a set of binoculars or clipboards to support your outdoor observations!

Lesson 2: Birds – Birds are fascinating animals to watch and it’s easy to learn how to identify them.  Casual observers can use the same techniques to identify birds that scientists use.  You can help scientist monitor bird populations and look for patterns in bird movement by counting your local birds and submitting the data. This lesson dives into bird identification, has students choose a bird to study and then connects observations with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Celebrate Urban Birds citizen science project. (celebrateurbanbirds.org) We recommend checking out a set of binoculars to go with the birding kit!

Links for Lesson materials:

http://www.scigirlsconnect.org/resources/bird-is-the-word-2/

http://www.scigirlsconnect.org/resources/season-seeking/

Credit: SciGirls

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