We studied winter birds with quarks today. We looked at pictures of non-migrating Illinois birds and studied their calls and songs. We played a fun game of matching the sounds to the pictures of the birds.

We discussed how the birds are able to keep warm during the cold winter months and we all agreed there must be something in the feathers. We then conducted a series of experiments to test our hypotheses. First, we tried mixing oil with water; second, we covered a piece of paper with a layer of oil and sprayed it with water, we compared it to a non oily paper; third, we made a “fat glove/ pocket” (made out of zip lock bags and vegetable shortening) and took it outside to test its warming abilities in the snow. We all agreed that fat is crucial to the winter birds, our winged friends are able to not only survive but also enjoy the cold winters thanks to oil and fat that keeps them warm and dry.

We also made an attempt at creating and reading graphs. We organized colorful feathers by colors, counted them and marked our findings on a bar graph. We then tried decoding our findings.

Our class ended with some feathery creations and fun stories of winter animals encounters. This group is always so curious and fun!

Science: Winter Bird Study