In response to a recent request for information on introducing kids to marbled murrelets and how they can help these threatened seabirds, I compiled a list of online resources and decided to post them here. Since many summertime vacations include camping trips, hikes, picnics in the coastal old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest, teachers and parents might find these various links valuable.
I was thrilled to discover a science-class curriculum based on Joan Dunning's Seabird in the Forest (her beautiful non-fiction picture book for children on the marbled murrelet). http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/seabird-forest/. This curriculum uses Joan's book and also a video produced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service on the marbled murrelet: http://sciencenetlinks.com/videos/mysterious-marbled-murrelet/
This particular video is a bit dry and not geared to kids; I prefer a video produced for Big Basin Redwoods State Park http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=540. It is more engaging and addresses the threat of nest predation and explains how keeping a clean campground is important (kids are featured in this video).
From the California's Redwood State and National Parks there is a nice description of the murrelet http://www.nps.gov/redw/naturescience/marbled-murrelet.htm with links to the crumb-clean sign: http://www.nps.gov/redw/naturescience/crumb-clean.htm and a coloring sheet focused on raising awareness of murrelet nest predators at old-growth-forest campgrounds.
And, here are links to two short (1+ minute) videos created by 7th and 8th grade students in Newport, Oregon, after a field trip to the old-growth forests (Siuslaw NF) along the central Oregon Coast this spring. The students learned about the forest and the family of birds--the corvids (jays, ravens, crows), nest predation, and our role in causing and solving this problem. Of the many student videos now posted on YouTube, these are two of my favorites:
And, because kids (and everyone else) are likely to hear a murrelet before they see one, here is a link to my website where you’ll find the best set of murrelet call recordings by Steve Singer http://www.mariaruthbooks.com/marbled-murrelets/.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology also has much on murrelets and a recording of the calls http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Marbled_Murrelet/sounds
Enjoy Your Adventures in the Forest!