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For the Birds: Environmental Effects on Population

Source Institutions

    Bridge: Online Ocean Science Education Resource Center

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For the Birds: Environmental Effects on Population

In this activity, learners will investigate how shorebirds and seabirds are extremely vulnerable to changes in their environment, whether human-induced or otherwise. Learners will use data collected in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) conducted by the Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to calculate the population size of a shorebird or seabird in their state and throughout the US. Learners will compare findings, consider factors for population changes, and discuss the accuracy of the GBBC data.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Populations
      • Human Impact
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Number and Operations
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science and Society
      • Public Policy
    • The Scientific Process
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and the Environment

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Citizen Science
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • use keyboard
  • use mouse
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Rose, Laura


  • Virginia Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program,

Funding Sources:

  • NOAA Sea Grant
  • National Marine Educators Association


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