Objective: To analyze the characteristic features of the northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)
Learning outcomes: Students can explain the typical characteristics and living conditions of migratory birds with the example of the northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) .
Previous knowledge: none
Duration: ca. 180 min
Materials / Conditions: Internet access
Methods / Techniques: describing, naming, building/creating, analyzing, working with a partner (optional)
Learning subject: Biodiversity / Module I: Introduction to biodiversity / Level: Advanced Learning
Cabo Verde is a stopover ground for many migratory birds as they make their way south for the winter. An example of one such bird is the northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe). The northern wheatear makes the longest journey of any small bird. Originally from Africa, it spread throughout Asia and eventually over the Bering Strait into western Alaska. Every year the northern wheatear returns to Africa for its wintering grounds, even though it would be shorter to fly to Central America. In Europe, this species has extended its range to Greenland and even eastern Canada. This part of the population also makes the long annual journey back to South Africa. On Cabo Verde, the northern wheatear is a rare winter guest but it can always find place to rest here.
Search the Internet for information about the northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) and answer the following questions:
1. Explain the migratory patterns of the northern wheatear. Make sure to cover the following points: flight path, length of journey, in flocks or alone, feeding behavior.
2. Describe the northern wheatear’s breeding grounds and pay special attention to the following points: region, climatic patterns, and landscape.
Possible results / Results:
Flight path: They fly along the western cost of Africa
Journey length: Lasts between a few days and several weeks
In flocks or alone: In flocks. It helps them to save energy because they take turns flying at the front of a V formation, which reduces the energy each individual must expend.
Feeding behavior: Mostly insects, but also spiders, snails and earthworms
Region: subarctic and artic wetlands where mosquito larvae breed
Climatic patterns: extreme differences in temperature, long summer days.
Landscape: They mostly live in mountainous habitats but also in other areas. They prefer open, rocky terrain. Often they live in areas of permafrost, where the ground thaws in summer.
Author: Tobias Lander
Aus dem Deutschen übersetzt von Kevin Frac