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Hawk Migration Activity- Math (or Science?)Classes
                                        - OR  -
  • Select a single species and compare its migration at 3 separate hawk watch sites (East
    coast, Central, and West Coast). Create a line graph to show the migration data for that
    species at each location over the past 5 years.

Can they identify a trend or rhythmic cycle to the data?

Then, have them predict the migration for each species OR at each site for the next 3 years based on
the trends or patterns of the previous 5 years. For their projections, make sure they use dotted lines
to indicate they are predictions and NOT actual data.

To extend this activity, research your 3 raptor species of choice using
Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All
About Birds online reference. Pay attention to their habitat needs, food choices,geographic range,
and other facts. Then, have them explain why one species might be more (or less) prevalent at your
site than the others.  

(Hint:  They may also need to look up some info about your site's geography and habitat. )
skills addressed: creating graphs, analyzing data, recognizing trends, data
extrapolation, research skills, deductive reasoning

Hawk Migration is an semiannual spectacle in North America. In both fall and
spring, various species of raptors undertake their big moves. There are many
hawk watch sites around the country that record the numbers of each species
passing through a given area.  This data is helpful in our understanding of each
species' population.

As your students explore
HawkCount, compare some of the migration trends over
the past few years. Choose from the following comparative models:

  • Choose 3 species from a single hawk watch site. Create a line graph to
    demonstrate the data for each of those species over the last 5 years.