Posts Tagged ‘birds’

Sanderlings are small sandpipers, 18-20 in length. Weighing anywhere from 40-100 g. In the winter it becomes very pale, in the summer the face and throat become brick-red. They are mostly seen along the edge of the water, picking at bugs in the sand or along the waters edge. They are also known to nest in the plants in the sand.

While we were at plum island I noticed these birds scurrying along the beach. Everyone thought they were baby seagulls because of their shape, but they have several differences from seagulls. First off the beaks are of different shape and color. Seagulls have thicker beaks that are orange while sanderlings have thinner beaks which are usually black. The coloring of the wings are also different with the birds, seagulls are mostly white with slight hints of color. Sanderlings are usually white on their belly with different shades of brown for their top feathers. They also walk differently. Seagulls take longer strides while sanderlings walk swiftly on shorter legs.

Sanderlings are found on open sandy beaches at the edge of the waves, on sandbars and where the grass meets the sand. They roost on sand in the dunes or behind piles of kelp. Their average size is 20 cm, average weight is 60 g, and their breeding season is  June to August. Their family size is three to four with a nesting period of 27 days. They eat mostly insects and other smaller bugs along the seashore and small crustaceans. They also eat seeds on their nesting grounds. They are threatened on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (the migration route to Australia) including problems of economic and social issues like; wetland destruction and change, pollution and hunting.





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Usually when I’m out on a run I’m thinking mostly about trying to maintain my pace, which road I need to turn down next, and any homework I have due.  Unfortunately for me, when this thinking process is taking place I somehow manage to forget to do other important things such as you know breathing, but I usually manage to keep it together pretty good.  I decided that the next time I went out for a run, I would completely clear my mind from all my thoughts, and just observe what is ‘nature’.

I noticed that while I was running there was this large bush, which I almost thought it out to be a small tree.  Of course it wasn’t until later that I found out it actually was a shrub.  It was called a ‘Quince shrub’.  The reason I noticed this particular shrub was mainly from all of the bright pink flowers it had blooming.  As I got closer and examined it more clearly, I heard loud buzzing noises so my initial reaction was to just keep running!  But as I backed away I also saw some hummingbirds at the top circling it.  It was very interesting and of course naturally the process taking place right before my eyes was ‘pollination’.

To see a small part of pollination occurring was definitely cool and it got me thinking about how each organism in nature relies on one another to survive.  For example, if the Quince shrub did not produce any flowers, then the birds and the bees would not be able to survive since they rely on the nectar.  However, if the birds and bees did not fetch for the nectar and pick up pollen at the same time to disperse it as they fly to different plants, the flowers in question would not exist.  Overall, pollination and the relying of organisms to one another is an ongoing process that will definitely continue for years and years to come.

Jake Getz

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Yesterday, Sunday May 9th, I went on a walk around my yard.  I noticed many organisms.  First, I saw a bumblebee flying around.  It went up to a dandelion and pollinated it, then flew away.  The bumblebee was very large, probably half an inch large and wide.  Now that the bumblebee has pollinated the flower, the flower can now make its fruit. 

On my walk, I also saw a robin land on the grass.  It pecked the ground & pulled out a worm, then flew away, back to its nest I think.  I heard small birds chirping, so I’m guessing the bird was getting food for its babies.  A few other interesting things that I saw on my walk were pine and oak trees.  These trees were very green and were gr0wing large.  A few months ago, these trees did not have leaves on them. They are now in full-bloom. 

I also went to the river near my yard.  There, I observed a bass eating  a smaller fish.  This made me ask myself what the smaller fish ate, and so on.  Although I do not know what kind of fish it was, I’d like to find out eventually.  My nature walk made me observe many parts of nature that I would not have noticed otherwise.


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Into the Ecosystem

Over the weekend, while walking in the area around my house, I was able to observe different forms of life.  Each organism interacts with one another in a complex web of give and take.  Some organisms eat others to survive, such as the birds.  The birds that have become increasingly common as the weather gets nicer eat insects as their form of getting energy anf nutrients.  Some birds, like the blue jay, eat other birds’ eggs.  I see occasionally blue jays that appear to be slightly overweight, and I can oly guess that they might have just found a bird’s nest and feasted. 

Image of a blue jay

Other organisms do not depend on other creatures for their food.  Plants are photosynthesizer, and thus do not need to eat other insects or animals to survive.  Down the street from my house, there is a group of birch trees.  These trees stay alive by using the sunlight that was shining brightly that day.  I knew from before that the white bark on the birch trees acts as a sunblock for the delicate wood underneath.  Because of this, it is harmful to the tree to remove the bark.  They also have specific growing needs.  Underneath the birch tree were many different kinds of insects.  If that birch tree group was to disappear, I couldn’t imagine the effect it would have on the insects, or even the birds that roost in their branches.  It would be hard to tell exactly how far the damage goes, because it would create a domino effect on the tiny ecosystem that is the wooded area around my house.

Nicole B.

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        On my walk I noticed many types of organims. I saw ants, bees, butterflies, birds, grass, dandylions, trees, and humans. If one of these organisms died then the whole ecosystem would suffer. All those organisms provide nutrients to other organisms. If all the plants died then the bees couldn’t make honey and ants would be become more visible to organisms who want to eat them. Butterflies are a food source to many birds, so if they died then birds would be greatly affected. It is difficult to make accurate predictions about changes in communities of organisms because changes happen very quickly or very slowly.

Miranda S.

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Looking out on my backyard  this saturday provided me with a very unusual sight. I saw two robins, two red-winged black birds, and a whole murder of crows (aka a flock). Because my family has three pet cats this is a rare occurance. Maybe the cats were distracted from their apetites or maybe they were playing inside, either way I lucked out. I watched for awhile as the birds ate what I assumed were worms or grubs from the ground.  I thought about the relationship between the birds, the cats, the worms, and the dirt. the sun provides energy to the grass and producers that decompose into dirt, the worms digest the dirt and replenish it, the birds eat the worm, and the cats, occasionally eat the birds. It was a perfect food chain right before my eyes. Interesting how easily the world can be related exactly back to the biology classroom with a simple glance outside. Who knows what I’ll find next time?

-Chloe C.

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Today, I went to the backyard because it looked like a nice day.  When I got outside it was really windy and I could see the leaves being blown all around and I could see birds flying everywhere along with bees.  The bees were huge, not sure what exactly they were, and they kept flying around looking like they were about to fall down.  They kept going flower to flower which I think was probably them spreading nectar from flower to flower.  The bees get food from the nectar of the flowers.  I saw chipmunks running in the grass and even up trees. I’m guessing the chipmunks live in the trees as over the course of an hour I went outside again and continued to see random chipmunks running to and from the tree.  If there was no tree I’m pretty sure the random birds would swoop down and catch one of those critters.  It’s hard to tell because anything can happen in the wild.  For all I know, the chipmunks might eat the birds!  No one really knows what will happen but can only presume what will based on their prior knowledge.  There seems to be a swampy place behind the fence.  Not really a swamp but the land there seems wet.  I heard a random sound.  It sounded like something ran past the plants that look like the plants you see where lions live.  I checked out what it could be but when I got there it was gone.  On the lookout now for what animal is living in the swamp area.

Alex H.


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