Questions for ‘Around the world, birds are in crisis’

a photo of a western meadowlark singing

A western meadowlark sings on the prairie. This is one of many species that has been rapidly disappearing.

Matthew Pendleton/Macaulay Library at Cornell Lab of Ornithology

To accompany feature “Around the world, birds are in crisis


Before Reading:

1.  How many species of birds can you name? How many do you think might exist in the world?   

2.  What are two things that you think might put bird species at risk?         

During Reading:

1.  How many species of birds exist in the world, and what share of those species are in decline, according to the 2018 study cited in the story?    

2.  According to the story, what phenomenon did Lewis and Clark observe on their Western expedition that can no longer be seen anywhere today?   

3.  What did Kenneth Rosenberg and his colleagues find in their survey of bird populations in the United States and Canada? What species are doing well? Which are at most risk?   

4.  How is the NEXRAD weather-radar system used to study populations of migrating birds?     

5.  What are two major threats that migrating birds face?   

6.  Why is migration a period of high mortality for birds?   

7.  How are climate change and habitat loss connected?

8.  According to the story, what are three threats to birds besides habitat loss and climate change?   

9.  How can bright lights disrupt bird migration patterns?

10.  What are three ways that students can help protect birds?  

After Reading:

1.  Suppose someone gave you a lot of money to help protect birds that migrate through the area in which you live. Knowing what you do now from this story, what might be your first priority? What would be the second? Explain your choices.

2.  Imagine being a bird who is preparing to migrate hundreds of miles each spring. But you can’t pack a suitcase! How might you prepare for that journey?