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Different animals need different things to survive, but one of the most important things they need is a suitable habitat. A habitat is the area in which a group of plants and animals live and interact. If an animal is in the right habitat, they’ll have access to shelter, food, water, and a place to raise their young! Let’s learn more about habitats!
It’s Story Time!
What does a bullfrog’s habitat look like? Janelle has the answer! Click here to watch her read “The Magic School Bus Hops Home” to learn more about animal habitats!
Guiding Question: What did you notice about Bella’s habitat? Did other animals share her same habitat?
Insects at home!
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Did you know that some insects make nests? What can we learn about their lives by looking at them closely? Grab your thinking cap and then click here to download the instructions for this fun comparison activity.
Guiding Question: What do you notice about the nest(s)? What do those observations tell you? What do you still wonder?
Build a bird nest!
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Of course, insects aren’t the only ones who make nests! Let’s build our own bird nest! We’ll look closely at some examples of real bird nests, and then build our own using some common materials. Click here for the directions to this fun activity. Then, be sure to share your creations with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
Guiding Question: Where do birds find their nest-building materials? What body parts do they use to build their nests? What will happen inside their nest?
Monty & Rose are back!
Do you remember Monty and Rose, the piping plover couple who set up a nest on Montrose Beach? These adorable birds are back! They fledged two chicks last year and are once again settling in on the beach. Because their habitat includes sandy beaches along the Great Lakes, it can be difficult for their nests, and their chicks, to remain protected. Click here to learn more about their return. You can also click here to rent or purchase the fantastic documentary “Monty and Rose.”
Guiding Question: Where do piping plovers nest? How does this help the birds? Are there things about this habitat that might make it hard for them to survive?
Can you spot the killdeer eggs?
Although this bird looks a lot like a piping plover, and is part of the plover family, it actually has a different habitat! This is a killdeer. They are shorebirds, but you’re just as likely to spot them on your lawn, in a driveway, on a golf course, or even in a pasture. Their nest sites are on the ground in open areas with good visibility (as you can see in this photo). Both parents take turns incubating the eggs. If an intruder gets too close, they’ll act like they have a broken wing and lure the potential predator away from the nest!
Guiding Question: Can you spot the eggs in this photo? Why do you think the birds made a nest in this particular area? How to the parents protect the eggs?
Behind the Scenes
Can you make out the critters in this photo? Look closer. It’s actually a photo of northern leopard frog tadpoles in their habitat! Click here to check out the video that Dr. Allison shot while she was doing fieldwork!