Dr. Carla Dove examining birds from the reference collection at the National Museum of Natural History to get comparison information for identifying bird remains from an airplane-bird collision. Image by David Price, Smithsonian.
IDENTIFYING BIRD REMAINS
Dr. Carla Dove is an Ornithologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Join her in analyzing the remains of birds from airplane strikes and other events. See how she and her team use various types of evidence to identify the birds. Marvel at how modern techniques such as DNA barcoding can complement old-fashioned comparisons of feathers. Consider what bird remains tell you about populations of birds over time. Learn how Carla and her team are making your flights safer while also improving management of natural populations of birds.
The February 12 live "Bird Detective" webcasts have ended, but you can watch the recorded versions using the links below.
PACKAGE OF RELATED RESOURCES FOR CLASSROOMS
Use the related resources below to take your students on a journey to understand why ornithologists study bird remains. For ideas about how to use the package of resources, visit the Teacher Guide. Consider the National Academy's learning strands as you design your Assessment strategy.
- Forensic Ornithology Lesson Learn feather identification from Carla Dove
- Advanced Bioinformatics Lesson Explore deeper to see how DNA testing is used in research. From NWABR
Literacy Resources Reading selections to boost science literacy
- Jostling for Niches: Predators, Prey, and Pests Read about how the relationship of organisms to their habitats. From an STC Program™ unit from the Smithsonian Science Education Center
- "Separation Science" at the FBI Read about FBI forensic techniques. From an STC Program™ unit from the Smithsonian Science Education Center
- Fighting the Perils of Bird-Plane Collisions From Smithsonian Magazine
- Migratory Geese Cause Hudson River Crash From Smithsonian Newsdesk
- Smithsonian Efforts to Catalog DNA From Washingtonian Magazine
- Barcode of Life: DNA Tags Help Classify Animals From Scientific American
Posters and Worksheets Printable images and one-page activities
- What is DNA Barcoding? From Consortium for the Barcode of Life
- DNA Barcoding Brochure From Consortium for the Barcode of Life
Science Expert Role Models Links to inspiring science experts at the Smithsonian and beyond
- Carla Dove Ornithologist at the National Museum of Natural History
- Nor Faridah Dahlan Ornithology research assistant at the National Museum of Natural History
- Marcy Heacker Ornithology research assistant at the National Museum of Natural History
- James Whatton Ornithology research assistant at the National Museum of Natural History
At the National Museum of Natural History A window into what's available at the museum
- Birds of DC Encyclopedia of Life page about the exhibit
- Unlocking Life's Code Webpage for the Genome exhibit
Q?rius Explore ornithology through Q?rius, a new way to experience the research, collections and science at the National Museum of Natural History
- Collections Explore birds in Q?rius, digitized and available for investigation from your classroom or at home
- School Field Trip Schedule a field trip to participate in " Bird Srike Whodunit?," which invites students to solve a bird-aircraft collision case
NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS)
The Ornithology-Dove Webcast Package supports students in meeting the NGSS Performance Expectations listed below by offering a set of resources that integrate science concepts with science practice skills.
MS-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity
- MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
- MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century
MS-LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
- MS-LS2-2. Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
- MS-LS2-5. Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
MS-ETS-1 Engineering Design
- MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
- MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
- MS-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.