What traits can be used to understand evolutionary relationships among organisms? In the investigation Sound Trees, students examine morphological behavioral traits of owls in order to make hypotheses about how they are related. By learning to access the Macaulay Library and interpret graphic representations of sound, they also prepare to do their own independent inquiries. View
What defines a species? And what are the conservation implications of the species definitions we choose? In the investigation Species Concepts in Birds, students examine sound and video recordings of pairs of species to look for evidence of possible hybridization or behavioral reproductive isolation. View
Are the distributions of breeding birds in New York state increasing, or decreasing? To what extent do these changes appear to result from human-caused changes in the habitat? Using data from two Breeding Bird Atlas projects conducted 20 years apart, students investigate Birds in Human Landscapes. This activity uses Google Earth and the New York State Breeding Bird Atlas database. Useful resources are also provided to create your own national or international adaptation of this lesson. View
Why are some bird species so elaborately plumaged? Why do the sexes look alike in some bird species but not others? In the investigation Ornamentation in Birds, students use the Birds of North America Online and the Macaulay Library to learn about the evolutionary forces driving sexual dimorphism. View
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0919686. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.