Friday, September 1, 2017

Fact Friday: Birds vs. Blades? Offshore wind power and the race to protect seabirds by Rebecca E. Hirsch

Birds vs. Blades? Offshore wind power and the race to protect seabirds by Rebecca E. Hirsch. 48 p. Millbrook Press/ Lerner Publishing Group, August, 2016. 9781467795203. (Purchased.)

One might think that harnessing the wind a couple of miles out the Atlantic Ocean is a good thing what with the quest for clean, renewable energy resources. But the Atlantic Ocean is not just a blank space. In addition to the sea life under the water, it is a flyway for lots of migrating sea birds. What effect would towering windmills have on relatively tiny winged creatures?

A team of scientists that specialize in sea birds set about netting gannets, red-throated loons and surf scoters in order to discover more about their migratory paths. Teams would set out nightly in a small boat braving cold weather, fog and choppy seas to scoop up birds, return to shore, fit them with transmitters and return them to sea before the stress of capture would hurt the animals. 

It's a beautiful book. That cover image is so intriguing! It's bound to draw readers in. Six chapters are filled with lots of color photos, maps and charts. Tight writing captures and keeps the reader's interest. The concluding chapter suggess ways students might become stewards of the environment. Backmatter includes author's note, source notes, glossary, and suggestions for further reading. 

I have been on the lookout for books that focus on the work that real scientists do in the field ever since the seventh grade science teacher and I collaborated to create a careers in science unit some eight or nine years ago. The project was more or less scrapped with changes in my schedule and Next Gen science standards, but I have a new class and plan on using these types of books as the basis for a research project. This is a perfect addition to any library and fits nicely into more than just a STEM/ science curriculum. Let your language arts and social studies teachers know about the title as well. 

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