Question Sheet: A Seabird’s Endless Summer


Before reading:

  1. Why do birds migrate? What other animals migrate for the winter? 
  2. What are some obstacles or problems that birds might face when they migrate

    for the winter?

During reading:

  1. Which bird has the longest migration route? How long is the route? 
  2. How do sooty shearwaters save energy on their long flights? 
  3. Shaffer says, “It’s like a conveyor belt of wind.” What does he mean? 
  4. What do many songbirds need to do to prepare for migration? 
  5. Why do blackpoll warblers have to fly for 3 to 5 days without stopping? How

    do they survive such a long nonstop flight? 

  6. Why might it be important to know why the number of sooty shearwaters is

    going down?

After reading:

  1. How could global warming and climate change affect bird migration patterns

    and routes? See Bird Conservancy). 

  2. How do songbirds differ from other types of birds? See 
  3. Do birds eat the same thing during the summer in northern areas as they do

    in winter in the tropics? Pick a migrating bird and find out its eating habits

    to see if they change when the birds are in different locations. See 

  4. What is the function of fat for birds? Do humans need fat for the same

    reason? Why or why not? See (Backyard Nature) and


  5. What other types of animals besides birds migrate? Make a list of different

    reasons why animals would migrate. Pick an animal that travels a long distance.

    Give the reasons why this particular animal migrates. See


    (National Park Service)


Pick one bird not mentioned in this articlethat migrates and draw a map showing its migration route. Which countries does the route cross? See (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service).


If people could digest and regrow their digestive systems, how would it change people? Write a short story about people who have this power.


Artic terns migrate as far as 22,000 miles, traveling from Maine and areas farther north to the coast of Africa, then to Antarctica (see Sooty shearwaters fly as far as 39,000 miles in 1 year. Calculate how much farther a sooty shearwater travels. Express this value as a percentage.