Life Science Students Monitor Albatross

Kahana cargo ship

On Friday, November 9 two “Ternites” visited four of Ms. Clevenger’s grade 7 life science classes at Waipahu Intermediate School.  Barb & Meg first took the students on a make-believe field trip on the cargo ship, Kahana to Tern Island; ALL ABOOOOOARD!

Once “on” Tern, Meg explained the two roles of the Black-footed Albatross chick monitoring activity:

Meg explaining the 2 roles

role #1– Pretend to be a BFAL chick!  Wear a chick photograph on your back.  Also wear a yellow-with-black-writing cardboard band around your left ankle, representing the chick’s auxiliary or “aux” band.

role #2 — Be a scientist!  Look around the classroom (which is a make-believe albatross plot, or area, on Tern Island), find each Black-footed Albatross chick, identify its number from its “aux” band, decide whether the chick is a DFC, PFC or FFC, and record that information on your data sheet.

Here’s what those acronyms mean, along with a photo collage–

DFC = downy feathered chicks are the youngest ones who have just hatched from an egg; their down feathers have dried out and are very fluffy.

PFC = partly feathered chicks have a mixture of fluffy down feathers and regular, smooth, flight feathers.

FFC = fully feathered chicks have very little or no down; since they have all their flight feathers, they’re ready to fly away from Tern Island, out to the grand North Pacific Ocean!

Meg checking a Black-footed Albatross chick-student

Students began right away, performing their monitoring duties as scientists and as BFAL chicks–

student scientists

Which chick growth stage has the most individuals? What does the X category represent?

2 responses to “Life Science Students Monitor Albatross

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