This activity will take the place of 3 one- hour class periods (3 hours total). All lessons are included in the teacher's Activity 2 guide below.
The purpose of this activity is to introduce students to the urban birds that live in their neighborhood. Students will learn how to identify bird species using field guides. The data that they collect will then be graphed and and analyzed using MS Excel. Students will also gain an understanding of the terms species abundance, richness, and biodiversity and learn how to calculate these values.
- The first lesson will bring students out into the field to record bird species and bird counts. It will end in the classroom with a pooling of class data. The teacher will model generating a chart in MS Excel using class data.
- The second lesson will have students use computers in class to generate graphs of data using MS Excel, and calculating species richness, abundance, and a biodiversity index.
- The third lesson will have students analyze graphs and calculations to make conclusions and complete their lab report.
- Activity 2 Guide
- Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Urban Bird PowerPoint
- Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Celebrate Urban Birds Web Site