Teacher's Corner
Goals and Objectives Student Investigations

Birds are indicators of environmental health. Many species indicate the results of human interaction and environmental changes. In simple terms, birds represent the "litmus paper of the environment."

Birds are capable of traveling incredible distances in their migratory movements. For example, the Black Poll Warbler flies 2,550 miles non-stop in 4 days and nights. Wetlands play an important role in replenishing the incredible energy reserves that birds need to complete their journey. In human terms, these birds often find filthy rest stops, empty gas stations, and motels with no vacancy signs.

It is very important that students propose the questions to investigate causes and possible solutions to the population decline. To get students started you could pose questions like:
Why have birds been termed "environmental indicators"?, or
What are some of the things that have been done to counteract conditions that adversely affect birds?

For additional background and activities about population studies in bird species, or environmental impacts in wetlands the following teaching resources are suggested:
Project Wild - Aquatic
NatureScope - Birds, Birds, Birds and Wading In to Wetlands
The Green Box
A Child's Place in the Environment
O'Dell Lake by MECC

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