This weeks' "Bird of the Week" is the Hairy woodpecker. The Hairy woodpecker is one of the most common woodpeckers in North America. It comes readily to feeders where it will eat suet(beef fat) and seeds. The hairy woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker, about 7 - 10 inches long with a wingspan of approximately 13 - 16 inches. It's plumage (feathers) are black and white with a plain black back. It's bill is thick and rather long. The male has a red patch on back of it's head while the female has a black patch.
Identifying a Hairy woodpecker from a Downy woodpecker can be tricky. One of the best ways to tell them apart is to look at the proportion of the bill to the head length when viewed from the side. The Hairy Woodpecker's bill is usually greater than one-half the depth of the head. The Downy woodpecker (BOW #4) has a bill less than one-half the depth of the head. Click here to see a good article about telling the two birds apart. Photos from All About Birds.
A long standing Parker tradition, the "Turkey Trot" was held this morning. This annual event has been held for at least the past 35 years. It is similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey, only now it is Pin the Wattle on the Turkey! There are 3 winners, one from each grade. A monetary donation is made in their name to "Turkeys 4 America".
Follow the directions below step-by-step. Record your observations on the lines provided.
1. Gather all of the materials and then read all of the procedures. 2. Pour approximately 3cm of liquid A into the test tube. 3. Pour approximately 3cm of liquid B into the test tube. Describe what happens.
4. Pour approximately 3 cm of liquid C into the test tube. Describe what happens and what the column of water now looks like.
5. Pour approximately 3cm of liquid D into the test tube. Describe what happens and what the column of water now looks like.
6. On the back of this sheet, sketch the test tube with the 4 different liquids in them. Label each layer with its name and density.
7. Gently shake up the test tube and then put it back into the test tube rack and let it settle for approximately 5 minutes. Describe what the column of water looked like when you shook it up and what it looked like after 5 minutes.
8. Why do you think the 4 liquids layered out like they did?
This week's "Bird of the Week" is the Dark-eyed junco. The Junco is a medium sized sparrow that is gray with a black hood and a white belly. It has white, outer tail feathers that are quite visible when it flies. It's eyes are dark, it's legs are pink, and it's bill is "whiteish". The male and females look similar with the females being a little more paler and browner.
The first photograph is of a male and the second photograph is of a female.
Junco's are the "snowbirds" of our area, appearing around here only in the winter. They are very common at back yard bird feeders and will sometimes appear in flocks of 25 birds or more. The Junco feeds primarily on the ground, scratching the ground looking for insects and seeds.
The students have been hard at work learning about density. They are using the formula Density = Mass/Volume or D=M/V. The units are grams per cubic centimeter or g/cm3. We have used the skills we learned earlier in the year about how to find the volume of a cube using the formula LxWxH and of finding the volume of an irregular shaped object by displacement. We have used pan balance scales and electronic digital scales as well. We did an activity called "Massing Water" to determine that the density of fresh water at room temperature is 1.0 g/cm3.
This week's "Bird of the Week" is the Red-tailed hawk. The Red-tailed hawk is the most common and widespread hawk in North America. It is a bird of open country, but also frequents woodlots and suburban backyards. It is frequently seen sitting on utility poles where it watches for rodents in the grass along the roadside. This large hawk has long and broad wings. It's wing span is between 45 - 52 inches. That's 4 1/2 feet! The tail is broad and red and most commonly has a pale chest and dark band across it's belly.
The Red-tailed hawk is a sit-and-wait predator, usually watching from elevated perch and then flying down to capture small and medium-sized mammals, birds, and reptiles. It will take young birds and squirrels out of their nests sometimes. Around here, the Red-tailed hawks' nest is a large bowl of sticks in tall tree. You may also see their nest atop of a utility (light) pole along the highway.
While many eastern Red-tailed hawks migrate, there is a sizable number that live around here year-round. These photos were taken in October, 2009 right outside my classroom window! This hawk caught and ate a Gray squirrel. Photos by Mr. Williams
As part of our Sink, Float, Density unit, the students used a dozen different materials to see if they would sink or float. Next, they made aluminum foil boats and tried to see how many marbles they could hold before they sank.
Each group of students was given a 6" x 6" sheet of aluminum foil. Some groupd got more than 50 marbles in their boat before it sank! We used this activity to talk about buoyancy and displacement.