Migration - Nature

These three art pieces all depict animals in motion (or preparing to move). Students will
understand that animals can move to find suitable habitat. Some animals travel far, and
some stay close to home. Students will recognize that there are perils along the journey for
many animals.

Download the full learning guide and use this page to navigate the artwork and facts.

Bluebird Habitat Scavenger Hunt

Look at the artwork and answer the following questions:

Do birds travel by boat?
What kind of bird is this?
Where do you think it is going?
What is it looking for?
  • Birds don’t really travel by boat, but people used to believe that hummingbirds would ride South on the backs of Canada Geese. Others believed that geese flew to the moon for the winter. Today, we know about bird migration through technology such as bird bands and gps trackers.
  • In the early 1900’s, bluebirds were common across Ohio. Then, due to the use of DDT, habitat loss, and humans factors, bluebird populations declined by up to 90%. In the 1930’s people began putting up artificial nest boxes, and, today, the population is healthy and steady.
  • Bluebirds in the northern part of their range are completely migratory. Some fly as far as 2,000 miles. Ohio bluebirds don’t always go very far in the winter. Many will stay and eat soft fruits when there are no insects available.
  • Bluebirds prefer open habitat like fields, parks, and backyards.
  • Bluebirds are secondary cavity nesters, meaning they do not excavate their own cavities, but use those made my woodpeckers or natural cavities.
  • The oldest known Eastern Bluebird was at least 10 years, 6 months old.
  • Bluebirds actually have no blue pigment. Their blue color comes from microstructures in the feather shaft which reflect light.
  • For more information about bluebirds, and to find nest box plans, visit the Ohio Bluebird Society – http://ohiobluebirdsociety.org
Bluebird Scavenger Hunt activity can be found in the Migration Nature Learning Guide.

Art Piece

The Navigator
Kristen Cliffel

Bat Journey

Look at the artwork and answer the following questions:

What do bats eat?
Can they find food in the winter?
Why might a bat hibernate?
Where would a bat find a safe place to hibernate?
  • Bats make up about 1/5 of all mammal species.
  • All the modern bat families have been around for at least 33 million years.
  • Bats belong to a group called Chiroptera, which means “hand wing.”
  • Some Ohio bats, like the Little Brown Bat migrate short distances to caves and old mines to hibernate. Others, like the Hoary Bat, travel long distances south to hibernate.
  • Many bats, like the Big Brown Bat are social, roosting in large summer maternity colonies of up to 200 individuals. Others, like the Eastern Red Bat, are solitary.
  • Baby bats are called pups and can weigh up to a third of the mothers body weight when born (that’s like a 90 pound woman giving birth to a 30 pound baby!).
  • Ohio bats are facing lots of threats, especially White-nose Syndrome, a fungal infection that can kill hibernating bats.
  • All Ohio bats are insectivores, using echolocation to find and catch insects in flight.
  • Reproductive female bats can consume their body weight in insects each night.
  • To learn more about bats and their conservation, visit Bat Conservation International – http://batcon.org
Bat Journey activity can be found in the Migration Nature Learning Guide.

Art Piece

Thomas Cornell

Migration Danger Mallards

Look at the artwork and answer the following questions:

Where are these ducks going?
What are they looking for?
How can you tell which is the male and which the female?
  • Mallard ducks are one of the most abundant ducks in the world.
  • Mallards are the ancestors of many strains of domesticated ducks.
  • Mallards are dabbling ducks, meaning they forage in the water by submerging their heads and necks. They eat aquatic vegetation, insects, snails, tadpoles, small fish, and look for acorns and waste grain on land.
  • Young ducklings leave the nest within one day of hatching and are led to water by the female.
  • Many mallards stay in Ohio during the winter, as long as marshes and ponds don’t freeze over. The marshes of Ohio are a vital stop-over resting place for many species of ducks that are migrating each Spring and Fall.
  • Flocks of migrating Mallards have been estimated flying at 55 miles per hour.
  • The oldest know Mallard was a male at least 27 years old.
  • Mallard populations fluctuate during time of drought, but the US populations over the past 50 years have been estimated at 5 million to 11 million birds.
  • Mallards, like other ducks, can be poisoned and die if they ingest lead shot or fishing tackle.
Migration Dangers activity can be found in the Migration Nature Learning Guide.

Art Piece

Mallards Descending
Benson Bond Moore

2331 17th St. NW
Canton, Ohio  44708

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