Birds Resources

Avian Science Center at the University of Montana: The mission of the Avian Science Center is to promote ecological awareness and informed decision making through the collection, synthesis, and dissemination of science-based information on western birds. The Center provides numerous outdoor workshops and educational events in Montana in the warm seasons. All About Birds from [...]

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Birds Glossary

Anisodactyl Arboreal Hypothesis Beak Contour Feather Cursorial Hypothesis Feathers Genus Herbivore Insectivore Invertebrate Mammal Nest Nesting Ornithology Passerine Perch Pollinator Skeleton Species Syrinx Vertebrate Wings

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Extension Activities

There are many opportunities to extend and expand the activities listed in this module. Several examples are listed below. Extension 1 The “How Strong are a Bird’s Bones?” activity from education.com demonstrates how strong a hollow structure can be using pennies and hollow paper bones. Extension 2 “Bird Beak Gallery” from Teachers’ Domain: It is [...]

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Bird Extremes

Biggest: The largest bird is the ostrich. It can grow up to 9 feet (2.7 m) tall. The ostrich also lays the largest birds’ eggs which are up to 4.5 x 7 inches (11 x 18 cm) across and weigh 3 pounds (1400 g). Largest Extinct Bird: Dromornis stirtoni which was about 10 feet (3 [...]

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Birds & Climate Change

It should come as no surprise to any of us that all organisms depend on their habitats for food, water, shelter, and opportunities to breed and raise young. If climate changes in a way that habitats are affected, these changes can impact all life on earth individual organisms to populations, species, communities, and ecosystems. It [...]

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Bird Legends & Indigenous People

There are some good websites hosted by native cultural centers that have legends about birds and the relationship of the people to birds. A few of these resources are listed here. The first two sites are from teaching modules that focus on Indian education. There are some excellent resources here! REVIEW 3-4 of the stories listed [...]

Creating Good Backyard Bird Habitat

There are many ways to increase the “bird appeal” of your yard, the local park, or your school yard. It can be as simple as providing water. Birds need sources of clean, fresh water, and a birdbath can provide a welcome source even in a barren setting. Birds also appreciate cover – some shrubbery or [...]

Figure 6.80: Mountain Bluebird. Image from FWP.

Identifying Birds Lab Exercise

The Evolution of Birds

Many scientists believe that certain dinosaurs called the theropods were the earliest ancestors of modern birds and that bird evolution commenced in the Jurassic Period. No, those great big Pterodactyls and Pterosaurs you remember in all of those great dinosaur movies were NOT early birds, nor were they flying dinosaurs. As a matter of fact [...]

Orientation & Navigation

A number of physical parameters influence bird navigation. Many birds have been shown to use a sun compass. Using the sun for direction involves the need for making compensation based on the time. Navigation has also been shown to be based on a combination of other abilities including the ability to detect magnetic fields, to [...]

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The MSP project is funded by an ESEA, Title II Part B Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant through the Montana Office of Public Instruction. MSP was developed by the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program and faculty from Montana Tech of The University of Montana and Montana State University, with support from other Montana University System Faculty.