Junior Explorers

Raptor Quest Activity Book

brochure Junior Explorers - Raptor Quest Activity Book

Raptor Quest Activity Book of Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) works hard to make sure that the nation’s public lands are healthy for everyone to enjoy! The BLM and the World Center for Birds of Prey are informal partners, who share the goal of helping people appreciate raptors and understand their needs. Public lands are special! They offer great places to play and explore. They provide a home for many animal and plant species, as well as grazing for cattle, sheep, and horses. And they contain minerals for construction, energy, and other uses. Public lands fill many needs! This publication was produced by the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, with assistance from The Peregrine Fund. Additional copies may be obtained through the Bureau of Land Management, Boise District Office, by calling 208-384-3300 or writing the office at 3948 Development Avenue, Boise, ID, 83705. Publishing services by the BLM National Operations Center. 2014 BLM/ID-GI-14/007+1110 Hello, Junior Explorer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Welcome to the World Center for Birds of Prey! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Discovery Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Conservation Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Bird Viewing Hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Silhouette Hallway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Biology and Ecology Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Get Ready To Explore Raptor Habitat! Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Idaho Raptor Safari . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Raptor Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Idaho Raptor Safari Journal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 The Route . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 The Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Junior Explorer Guided Viewing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Initial Point . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Meridians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Put on Your Habitat Hat! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Dedication Point . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Living Is Not Easy for Desert Animals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 It’s Not Easy Being a Desert Plant Either . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Come Meet the Natives! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 You’re Stepping on Me! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Put Your Habitat Hat Back On! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Don’t Overlook the Overlook! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 A Beecham Lullaby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Summary Activities Thinking about Birds of Prey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Junior Explorer Pledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Volunteer To Help Raptors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 i ii Junior Explorer, Get ready to have some fun—and to see live raptors! This booklet takes you first on a self-guided tour of the World Center for Birds of Prey. Here you can explore the exhibits and see these exciting birds up close. You can also learn what they need and what people are doing to protect them. Then you’re off on a field trip into the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA). There you will hike to the top of an old volcano and walk to the rim of the Snake River Canyon. The NCA is a wonderful place to see birds of prey in the special raptor habitat that exists right here in Southwest Idaho. To become a Junior Explorer, visit the places in this book. While you are there, complete the activities for that location. Every activity marked by a D counts as one activity. Do as many of the 23 activities as you wish, but at least: Third Grade: World Center – 4 activities NCA – 4 activities 1 summary activity Fourth–Sixth Grade: World Center – 6 activities NCA – 6 activities 2 summary activities Junior Explorers and one accompanying adult each receive $1 off the regular entry fee at the World Center! We hope you’ll learn some new words, too! Look for the definitions of many words at the bottom of the page on which the word appears. Visiting the NCA is free! Once you have completed all the required activities, read and sign the pledge on page 31 and mail or bring it to: BLM Birds of Prey 3948 Development Avenue OR Boise, ID 83705 World Center for Birds of Prey 5668 West Flying Hawk Lane Boise, ID 83709 A raptor education specialist is standing by at both locations to check your work and to swear you in as an official Junior Explorer. You will then receive your Junior Explorer certificate and badge. If you mail in your booklet, we will check your work and return the booklet to you with your certificate and badge. If you visit both places in one day, remember to bring a lunch and plenty of water! Enjoy your exploration, and see you soon! HABITAT: A place that provides the food, water, and shelter that an animal needs to survive and safely raise its young. PREY: Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and fish that are eaten by other animals for food. Raptors eat a variety of all prey. RAPTOR: A bird of prey with strong, powerful feet and sharp talons, a sharp-hooked beak, and excellent eyesight. 1 to the World Center for Birds of Prey! The World Center for Birds of Prey is also the headquarters of The Peregrine Fund, an organization created to make sure that peregrine falcons, as a species, continue to exist for many years. These magnificent birds were once in danger of dying off completely and becoming extinct. Such species are called “endangered species.” The Peregrine Fund’s special breeding program helped restore the peregrine falcon, and in 1999 it was removed from the U.S. Endangered Species List! Now, The Peregrine Fund helps other birds of prey, in this country and around the world. One endangered species—the California condor—is breeding new generations of birds here at the World Center. Once the young birds are ready to make it on their own, they will be released into the wild. Things To Do Here Velma Morrison Interpretive Center – take the Junior Explorer self-guided tour. Outside – walk a short trail for a fantastic view of the Boise Valley, where you might just spot raptors soaring along the ridgeline! Archives of Falconry – discover what it takes to be a “falconer” and to help conserve falcons around the globe. For more information, visit www.peregrinefund.org/vmic, call 208-362-8687, or email tfp@peregrinefund.org. 2 Discovery Room D Around the room there are three things that make a bird of prey different from other birds. Find them, try them on for yourself, and then write what those features are below: _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ You can also try on a pairs of wings! D In the feather collection, find an owl feather and a falcon feather. Notice the differences between the feathers, and draw each one below. Owl feathers are soft with fringy edges. A few feathers at the tip of the wing even have a notched edge, something like a comb. Owls’ wings are designed to muffle the sound of air flowing over them. An owl’s flight is almost silent—making it easier for this raptor to hear its prey and sneak up on it at night! Owl Feather Falcon Feather Mini-Scavenger Hunt: Look at the habitat wall in the back, and check off each of your discoveries. ___ a screech owl cavity nest inside a tree ___ burrowing owl eggs ___ a northern harrier nesting on the ground ___ a peregrine falcon nesting on a ledge ___ a bald eagle nest in a tree ___ a killdeer with eggs D 3 Conservation Room is the world d n u o r a tors aptors m for rap oisons. R p f o s A proble d kill kin to many s used to e e r id u c s ti o s p e ex ith p le. Or contact w nd peop a in s e p m o r o c c ven to may inated (e harmful m e r a t a n t o a c h l that is insects t ore at an anima t a e ). Read m y s a t e dor. m ll y u e b h t rom rnia-con f o f g li in a n c / o s ois project by lead p und.org/ f e in r g e r www.pe 1 D 2 Another big problem fo r raptors is loss of h abitat. As w e humans change the land to me et OUR needs—bu ilding hous e s and road planting cro s, ps, changin g the direction o f streams— the land is less able to support th e wildlife that once c alled it hom e. The Peregrine Fund is helping conserve the California condor through a special breeding program. Enjoy coloring the picture of this beautiful condor, as shown in the photo. 3 A third threat to raptors in the wild is power lines and towers. Raptors like to perch on the towers and sometimes even build their nests on them. If a bird touches two wires at the same time, and one wire is carrying electricity, the bird will be electrocuted and die. CODE ANSWERS: to look for prey to eat; to protect nests from predators Many existing power lines and towers are being modified, and new lines and towers are being built, to “raptor standards.” This means that the birds will no longer be able to touch two wires at the same time. Some organizations even build safe nesting platforms on or near utility poles for osprey and other raptors. D Why do raptors seek out high places, such as utility poles? Use the code below to discover why. 1 A 2 B 3 C 4 D 5 E 6 F 7 G 8 H 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 20 15 / 12 15 15 11 / 6 15 18 / 16 18 5 25 / 20 15 / 5 1 20 __ __ / __ __ __ __ / __ __ __ / __ __ __ __ / __ __ / __ __ __ 20 15 / 16 18 15 20 5 3 20 / 14 5 19 20 19 / 6 18 15 13 / 16 18 5 4 1 20 15 18 19 __ __ / __ __ __ __ __ __ __ / __ __ __ __ __ / __ __ __ __ / __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ 4 Bird Viewing Hall D What’s your favorite bird in the hall? __________________ On the pie chart, circle what types of animals your bird eats. Circle the word below that describes how your bird is doing. Endangered Threatened Neither Silhouette Hallway D What bird am I? HINT: Use the key to the silhouettes in the hallway (outside the movie theater) to help you name the bird described. A bird that has a wingspan the same size as you: _____________________ A bird that can fly super-fast (look up!): _____________________________ The BIGGEST wingspan here belongs to: ____________________________ A bird that hunts at night: ________________________________________ CARRION: A dead animal. 5 ANSWERS: varies, based on how big YOU are; peregrine falcon; California condor; owl On the world map, mark an “X” where your bird normally lives. Biology and Ecology Room D Go to the big, electronic Migration Interactive Display and MATCH each of the birds to a description of their migration or locations by drawing a line: Bird Description Barn Owl You can find these birds in Greenland in the summer. Peregrine Falcon You probably cannot find many of these birds in Canada. Barn Swallow Look for these birds in Alaska in the summer, but not the winter. Turkey Vulture This bird seems to disappear from North America in the winter. Osprey This bird doesn’t really migrate at all. MIGRATION: The seasonal movement of animals, including birds, from one place to another. 6 D Go to the Glass Case Display of birds. Can you find the answers to complete this puzzle? Glass Case Crossword Puzzle ly. ns quick o ti c e ir ging d Across for chan t ht. il u b is ales. quiet flig , w d that ir lo s b and fem r A s o f le t a il 5. u m is b lors in ird that erent co iff d 7. A b s w fish. se. bird sho atching c is h in T s glass ca e e . z h 8 li t ia c in e bird sp can see ird you 10. This b T S E 2 3 L SMAL 11. The Fill out the puzzle while looking at the glass case of birds. Use the clues. 1 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Down 1. T he 2. A BIGGEST bird y bi ou c 3. A rd that is b bird t uilt fo an see in ha the g r 4. T lass c his ge t is built f soaring (d ase. or hig rop t nder 6. A h i h e s nothe speed BIGG apost ER in r nam rophe 9. T many . e for ). his ge bi a nder is SM bird of pre rds of pre y. ALLER y. in ma ny bi rds o f prey . 7 ANSWERS: (Across) 5. sharp-shinned hawk; 7. barn owl; 8. American kestrel; 10. osprey; 11. flammulated owl (Down) 1. harpy eagle; 2. Swainson’s hawk; 3. peregrine falcon; 4. female; 6. raptor; 9. male Biology and Ecology Room (continued) Get Ready To Explore Raptor Habitat! Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area Now that you have learned what makes a bird a raptor, it’s time to go out into the—(take a deep breath for all these words!)—Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. Whew! You can just call it the NCA, too. Congress made this a protected area in 1993 because its special ecosystem supports the highest number of birds of prey nesting in one location in the whole country! The activities in this section of the booklet show what it’s like to live as a raptor. If you’re Exploring the Outdoors Safely lucky, you’ll see different raptors living here in Before setting off on the two short hikes, take a full the wild! water bottle with you. Your adventure may be hot and dry, and no water is available. Watch your footing. The trail up to Initial Point is rocky. At Dedication Point, do not climb on the low barrier wall. It’s a long way to the bottom! If you see a rattlesnake while you are exploring, just observe it from a safe distance. D Listed below are the raptors you’re most likely to see. Find the birds first in the Raptor Guide on page 10, so you know what to look for! As you see each raptor in the wild, come back to this page and check it off the list. Year-round Birds: Migrating Birds: __Red-tailed Hawk __Northern Harrier __American Kestrel __Great Horned Owl __Golden Eagle __Prairie Falcon (present during Feb–Jul) __Turkey Vulture (present during Mar–Aug) __Burrowing Owl (present during Mar–Aug) __Osprey (present during Mar–Aug) __Ferruginous Hawk (present during Apr–Jul) __Swainson’s Hawk (present during Apr–Sep) Some raptors live in the NCA all year. Others are here only part of the year. It gets either too hot or too cold for them, or their food disappears! So when the Piute [pie-yoot] ground squirrel—favorite food of the prairie falcon—goes underground in early summer, the falcons migrate to other places where they can find other types of ground squirrels. ECOSYSTEM: An area where all the living organisms—animals, plants, and others—exist together because of how they relate to one another and their environment. 8 Idaho Raptor Safari! On this safari, you’ll take an inventory of raptors much as a biologist does—searching the landscape, ready to observe and record the wildlife you find. Tip: Look for raptors sitting on fenceposts, telephone poles/wires, power poles, and rock outcrops—anything that gives them a higher vantage point for hunting! But don’t forget to look on the ground, too. Use the journal provided on pages 12–13 to record what you see. There’s a sample page to guide you on page 11. Completing the Safari Journal counts as one activity in the NCA. Your safari will take you to Initial Point and Dedication Point. The latter is an especially good place to view raptors! At these locations, you can continue your safari on foot. Take some time to explore. Then do activities for that location while you are onsite. What You’ll Need The Map + binoculars + Raptor Guide + Safari Journal and pencil (colored pencils, optional) So W here Are T Best v hey? iewin g time and e s for r arly e aptor venin food. s are g , when Rapto early they a rs are morn and J re hu most ing une. I n a n Apr ting f ctive nests o i i l n r , the ; co mid-M arch, the ca me July, th y ’re incuba May, ey sta ting e nyon durin ggs in y out g the their fierce of the sun or lea heat. ve Let’s Go! 1 Ask your driver to set the odometer to zero. 2 Follow along on the Junior Explorer Guided Viewing pages (pages 17–19). 3 Use the Raptor Guide to help you identify the birds you see (page 10). 4 Record the birds you see in your Safari Journal (pages 12–13). INCUBATING: Sitting on eggs to hatch them by keeping them warm. INVENTORY: A detailed list. 9 ! D I’m kin g of t he wo rld Raptor Guide Raptors you may see. 10 Idaho Raptor Safari Journal Record the birds you observe by describing: Colors – on the body, wings, or tail, plus any markings on the head Shapes – long or short tail; broad or narrow wings; rounded or pointed wingtips Behavior – how the bird flies, where it is perching, whether it is eating anything Example: May 22nd Hot No 1:30pm about 85 degrees No Yes, slight breeze 15% Dedication Point It appeared grey brown on top, but creamy underneath except where the wing and body met. There it was darker brown. I noticed two stripes on its face. Its wings were long and pointy. Its tail was short. It was soaring back and forth in front of the cliffs. Then it soared over us and out over the desert. I looked at the photos on the Raptor Guide, and the bird was a prairie falcon! 11 12 13 14 Hello, Drivers! You should know – There are NO SERVICES in the NCA, so you should: • • • • Be sure you have a full tank of gas. Bring emergency supplies—mobile phone service is limited, and you must be prepared to handle situations on your own. Bring plenty of drinking water for everyone—especially in late spring through early fall, when it can be quite hot. Remind everyone before leaving the World Center that the next available restroom is a LONG way down the road (Dedication Point, Swan Falls Dam, and Celebration Park). If desired, cut out this page with The Route and, on the back, The Map. The Route All roads are paved except for a 2-mile (round trip) gravel section at the base of Initial Point. TO BEGIN: Set the odometer to zero! Start Right Right Right Left Right Left Right Left Left World Center for Birds of Prey Hollilynn Drive Pleasant Valley Road Ten Mile Creek Road South Cole Road Kuna Mora Road Cloverdale Road Poen Road Swan Falls Road Initial Point Road Left Swan Falls Road Odometer Miles 0.0 1.2 3.3 5.9 8.1 10.5 13.5 16.5 20.5 23.5 24.5 25.5 33.0 15 Additional sights/information Begin driving Gravel road to Initial Point Arrive at base of Initial Point; and return Arrive at Dedication Point The Map 16 Junior Explorer Guided Viewing D Follow along, and discover what there is to find along the journey! When you finish reading this Guided Viewing section, check (√) the box on the last page. MILE 0.0 As you leave the World Center, watch for raptors riding the uplift of air along the ridgeline. American kestrels— about the size of a robin—are quite common. MILE 1.2 Notice the stands of sagebrush to your left. Right Turn These native shrubs provide small animals and birds with food and places to hide. These animals in turn become prey for red-tailed hawks and northern harriers. Sagebrush has many chemical defenses in its leaves. You can smell this if you pick some leaves and roll them in your fingers. That’s nature’s hand sanitizer you’re smelling! MILE 3.3 Right Turn MILE 5.6 Consider taking a short side trip to the Wild Horse Corrals, Optional where you can see the BLM caring for the wild horses and burros Right Turn that symbolize the American West. Did you know? People can adopt wild horses and burros from the BLM. During the past 40 years, more than 190,000 horses and 36,000 burros have gone to good homes! 17 ? ? Junior Explorer Guided Viewing continued MILE 5.9 Look for raptors hunting the fields to your left, sitting on the Right Turn irrigation equipment, or even sitting on the ground. Look for northern harriers and red-tailed hawks. In spring, you might even see great horned owls nesting in one of the trees. Northern harriers have a long tail and hold their wings in a “V” when flying. Males are grey and white. Females are brown. Both have a white rump patch. At MILE 9.6 Red-tailed hawks have a red tail and are the most common raptors you’ll see here. Start looking for burrowing owls on fenceposts and on the ground (March–August). Small mounds of dirt may be the entrance to their burrows—or they can mark the homes of the Piute ground squirrel. MILE 10.5 Black plastic tubes served as the entrance to Right Turn human-made burrows for the owls in a 2002 study. (NW corner of the intersection, in the field behind the house.) MILE 13.5 Left Turn MILE 16.5 Right Turn 18 t In ee d a a t MILE 8.1 Left Turn a le h st o edr b e re om . Junior Explorer Guided Viewing continued At Look for the lone tree to the north of the road. MILE 19.8 Red-tailed hawks often use this tree as a nesting site. dators— s are pre r o t ting p a r , and ea g n Because li il k , those catching elp keep hunting, h y e h t ce. imals— hy balan other an lt a e h a ons in populati MILE 20.5 Left Turn MILE 23.5 One mile down this gravel road is Initial Point. There’s an observation deck on top, about a Left Turn 1/4 mile up the trail. Remember to complete some Junior Explorer activities from the Initial Point section of this booklet! MILE 25.5 Head back down the gravel road and turn left, in search of Dedication Point. Left Turn The Great Kern county Mouse War g A True Story In 1926 the farmers of Kern County, California, had a great harvest—the best in years! Left on the ground was stubble and scattered seed. By October, people began to notice mice—everywhere! The mice had bred in the stubble and fed on the scattered seeds. Soon there were even more mice, and they went looking for food in barns and houses. The people tried to poison the mice, but they kept coming. By early January the mice were pouring over the earth in ankle-deep waves, and the roads were carpeted with mice. A teacher opened her desk to have a dozen mice leap out. Mice occupied the principal’s office. Mice darted from classroom to classroom. What went wrong? For 20 years the people of Kern County had been killing predators—skunks, fox, badgers, weasels, snakes, owls, and hawks. For 20 years the mice had multiplied freely. With the bumper crop of food in 1926, the mouse population exploded until the food ran out. Then TENS OF MILLIONS OF MICE found they had to migrate or starve. By mid-January they covered an area of 96 square miles! After 4 months this “war” was finally won but at a cost in crop and property damage of about $1 million—all because of the lack of predators. MILE 33.0 You’ve arrived at Dedication Point! Walk the short trail to the overlook, and Right Turn keep an eye out for prairie falcons, red-tailed hawks, and turkey vultures. Bring your Junior Explorer book, and have fun completing some of the activities! ____ Check (√) here to show that you read the Guided Viewing section. 19 Initial Point Initial Point looms out of the desert and offers panoramic views of the Owyhee [O-WHY-hee] Mountains and the Boise Front. In 1867 the U.S. Geological Survey established a brass marker on top of this prominent but small volcano. Early surveyors stood right here and mapped EVERY PIECE OF LAND in the state from this marker! D Walk to the top of Initial Point and find the marker. Sketch it here. Meridians Long ago, people found places that they wanted to visit by using the stars and specialized tools. Today, it’s popular to use GPS (Global Positioning System) units to find where you’re going. GPS can tell anyone in the world the exact location of a place by using longitude and latitude lines—imaginary lines that circle the Earth. Meridians circle the Earth vertically and show longitude. The horizontal lines show latitude and are called “baselines.” The meridians that you see marked on globes are called “principal meridians.” One, the Boise Meridian, runs right through Initial Point! Meridian Road and Meridian (the town) also lie on the Boise Meridian. Look toward Kuna, and you can see Meridian Road coming straight at you! SURVEYOR: Someone whose job is to determine boundaries and elevations of land areas and structures. 20 Put on Your Habitat Hat! Look at the desert around you. It may seem empty, but it is FULL of something that is absolutely essential to birds of prey. You see, if they are to eat, their prey have to eat, too. And the plants that grow here supply both food and shelter for large populations of ground squirrels and jackrabbits—the main food sources of raptors here in the NCA. This area of Idaho lies in a vast, grass-covered plain called a steppe [step]. Sagebrush-steppe, to be specific. Here you’ll find: • • • Low-growing shrubs (mostly sagebrush) Bunchgrasses (grasses that grow in clumps) Forbs (flowering plants with soft stems) The pie chart shows how much of each plant group is normal for healthy sagebrush-steppe habitat. Is this what you see? D Sagebrush – Steppe Plants 15% Forbs 35% Shrubs Fill in the blank pie chart with your estimates of the different plant types you see. Forbs are hard to see from this distance, so look for cheatgrass instead. Cheatgrass is a nonnative grass that grows in a continuous mat, much like a lawn. 50% Bunchgrasses Why the big difference between the two charts? Most of the area around Initial Point has burned in wildfires since the late 1980s. Many shrubs and bunchgrasses did not grow back after the fires. Instead, nonnative invasive grasses, such as cheatgrass, moved in, crowding out the native plants. What I see. Cheatgrass Forbs Bunchgrasses Shrubs Cheatgrass When you get to Dedication Point, you will see an area that looks more like a healthy sagebrush-steppe habitat should look. 21 Dedication Point Welcome to Dedication Point, the overlook of the magnificent Snake River Canyon! Look as far and as wide as you can see, and imagine thousands of creatures living here. They’re out there! Some you may see; others may be harder to find. D Unscramble the letters below to discover who calls the NCA home. Hint: Look at pictures on this page and the next for clues. Z D A L I R ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ B J I B A R C A T K ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ANSWERS: (top to bottom) lizard; jackrabbit; coyote; badger; ground squirrel C T Y O E O ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ D A G B R E ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ N U D R O G L E S R I U Q R ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ 22 Desert animals have developed adaptations to live in this hot, dry environment, through things they do or through their body features. D Write the number of the adaptation in the circle beside the animal that it describes. 1. Seeks shelter in burrows during the heat of the day. Hint: This animal is the favorite food of prairie falcons. 2. Has big ears that release body heat when resting in a cool, shady location. Hint: This animal Snake is the favorite food of golden eagles. 3. Raven They straighten out their legs to move their hard, dark bodies away from the hot ground. Hint: They are very small. 4. Has thick, scaly skin to reduce water loss. Hint: This animal has no arms or legs. 5. Antelope Piute Ground Squirrel Gets most of the water it needs from the animals it eats. Hint: This animal catches prey with its talons. 6. Is active at night, when it’s cooler. Hint: This animal is known for being fierce. Insects 7. Coyote Has no sweat glands, and so does not lose water by sweating when flying or moving around. Hint: Though it is a predator, this animal is not a raptor. 8. Eats plants that contain water. Hint: There are “two animals” in its name. Badger 9. Has a light-colored coat that reflects the light instead of a dark coat that would absorb the sun’s heat. Hint: This animal is a type of wild dog. 10. Travels great distances on its strong legs to find water in rivers and streams. Raptor Kangaroo Rat Hint: This is the fastest animal in North America. ADAPTATION: A characteristic or behavior that a species has acquired over a long period of time that makes it suited to the habitat in which it lives. BURROW: A hole or tunnel that a small animal digs in the ground so it can live or hide there. 23 Jackrabbit ANSWERS: (left side, top to bottom) 7; 10; 3; 6; 5 (right side, top to bottom) 4; 1; 9; 8; 2 The Living Is Not Easy for Desert Animals It’s Not Easy Being a Desert Plant Either Walk to the first bench past the gazebo. Hey, are you thirsty? The plants here get very thirsty, too! But they have tricks—adaptations—for holding onto the water that comes their way. Some have a thick, waxy covering to make it harder for water to escape. Most desert plants have very small leaves, which lose less water than larger leaves would. Some grow tiny leaf hairs that reflect the sun and keep them cooler. Some multitaskers use a tap root to pull moisture from deep in the soil and use shallow roots to absorb rainfall or snowmelt. At midday—the hottest time of day—many plants “roll up” their leaves to reduce water loss from exposure to sun and wind. We all know that plants don’t just sit there, right? They have work to do. It’s called photosynthesis [foto-SIN-the-sis]: They transform light energy from the sun into chemical energy to feed themselves and grow bigger and stronger. So if you were a thirsty desert plan, and could work the day shift or the night shift, which would you pick? Many plants choose to work at night when it’s cooler, photosynthesizing the sunlight they stored during the heat of the day. 24 Come Meet the Natives! D Walk the trail through the shrubs and try to find four different types of shrubs and one grass. Match each plant you see to one of the Clue Sets shown on this page. Then use the number key to fill in the letters that will reveal the name of the shrub. Number Key 2–a 4–b 6–c 8–e 10 – f 12 – g 14 – h 16 – i 18 – m 20 – n 22 – o 24 – p 26 – r 28 – s 30 – t 32 – u 34 – w 36 – y Clue Set 1 My leaves are small and covered with tiny

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