Blog posts tagged in Boston
This tag contains 6 blog entries contributed to a teamblog which isn't listed here.


To continue this week’s seabird theme, I facilitated two different activities with the youth program students focusing on migration and feathers.

The first activity, involving feathers and what happens to a bird’s feathers in an oil spill, can be found here.

Keys to this activity are to allow students time to observe their feather, think about the behavior of seabirds, and ponder how an oil spill might affect a seabird.  Though this activity requires materials such as vegetable oil, dish soap, and feathers it clearly demonstrates how feathers function and are negatively affected by oil.  Additionally, because the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico occurred only three years ago, many students still remember and can relate to this tragedy.

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in Green

This week’s theme is Seabird Specialists!  Boston has many seabirds, which our sailing students often see out on the water.  Cormorants, gulls, and terns are among the most frequently noted species.  Though seabirds might not be the most glamorous creatures, they play an important role in the ecosystem and are actually more interesting than they might appear.  For example, Artic Terns, who often stop by Boston Harbor along their annual migration route, have one of the longest migrations (by distance) of any bird- traveling about 25,000 miles each year!

Cormorants are one of the animals that spend the most time in the water around the sailing center and tend to raise the most questions among our sailing students.  These sleek, black birds are some of the fastest and deepest diving birds in the world!  Most commonly, cormorants are spotted sitting on mooring balls and rocks with their wings outstretched because their feathers are not waterproof, unlike other birds whose feathers repel water to keep them warm.  Cormorant’s feathers intentionally absorb water to help weigh them down so they can dive deeper and faster to catch fish. 

Both cormorants and terns inspired this week’s activities.  More information on that coming soon!

in Green