June 14, 2009
Our PA’A facilitators designed a scavenger hunt to help us become familiar with Sand Island, our home for the next 7 days. We checked-out bikes from the “garage”, referenced our Sand Island map and began our journey to locate various landmarks and points of interest for the remainder of the day. It was a day of exploration and communing with the natives (i.e., Laysan and Black-footed Albatross). We discovered old runways used by the military during World War II. We discovered walking trails that revealed secluded beach areas. We located the cargo pier (where some of the best snorkeling is found). We located Turtle Beach which was also being shared with monk seals. We also began making some observations about the different species of birds and where they like to hang out on Sand Island. The Frigate birds like certain areas, the Black-footed Albatross like other areas, and the Laysan Albatross seem to like ALL areas.
The Sand Island Scavenger Hunt was a great way to learn about our new neighborhood and to see the interactions among the different groups of birds and aquatic life. As we were completing our scavenger hunt today, we pedaled past a group of Black-footed Albatross conducting a group activity of their own. We stopped our bikes and observed them during their “exercise” class (see photo at right). This is truly a remarkable place and I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to experience this environment and to share it with others.
(Photo left): Albatross chicks using the bikes for shade. (Photo below: Albatross Aerobics (Photo Credit: Miriam Sutton)
REVIEW TOPIC: OBSERVATION SKILLS
Observation is an important process skill for science and a scavenger hunt is a fun way to improve your observations skills. Create your own scavenger hunt to learn more about your surroundings, whether you’re traveling or not. Take a notepad and pencil with you when you travel or go outside to make your observations. Record or illustrate the different species you observe in nature; plant or animal. How are the various species different? How are they similar? How do they interact with each other or their surroundings?