What a coincidence! Any map is generally a bird's eye view of an area. And the maps emphasized in this unit are about birds in your schoolyard or community—drawn from a bird's-eye perspective. There are endless ways to make maps that will help our feathered friends as well as help students learn about them.
The data you gather and illustrate on your maps will give you ideas about what could to be done to improve bird habitat in your area. Your maps could be useful to community groups or agencies involved in improving wildlife habitat. Here are some examples of data useful on bird maps:
- locations of cavity nesting trees, coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs, and bird boxes;
- locations of birdfeeders, seed, nut, and berry producing trees and shrubs, perching areas, flowering plants, and water sources;
- bird species you observed and where they were spotted; and
- endangered birds in your community or province. Mapping can be the first step in helping to improve birds’ habitats by:
- identifying the assets, resources, and deficits in an area; and
- helping students to zero in on problems and come up with solutions.
Tips about Maps
- The title explains what the map is about.
- A date on the map represents its time period. (Historical maps often have two dates: the time period the map represents and the date it was drawn.)
- The compass points (or compass rose) let you line up the compass arrow so it points north, for example, to the "real" north so you may orient yourself.
- The legend or key of a map helps to decode its details. A road-map, for example, often uses symbols for towns, airports, and hospitals, and coloured lines for provincial boundaries and highways. When students map for birds, they can come up with their own symbols to help them interpret their map.
- The scale shows a map's details at the correct size when compared to other details. It may also help to judge distances. It would be confusing, for example, if a bird box and your school were shown as being the same size. A scale of 1:1,000 may mean that 1 cm represents 1,000 cm. A road-map’s scale might mean 1 cm equals 7 km.
- Lines that run across, or up and down, a map mark latitude and longitude. They help to locate places on a map. Lines of latitude circle the Earth in east and west parallels; lines of longitude circle from the North Pole to South Pole. (Explain to younger students that these are imaginary lines.)
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