Museum

Natural History: Birds

Avian Adaptations Kit

This kit includes 20 bird specimens designed to focus on the adaptations that set different birds apart from one another. The hands-on specimens allow students to look closely at specific features of a bird and to hypothesize about adaptive functions of key traits. The diversity of this kit provides many different opportunities for the students to sort and classify birds and learn about evolution and taxonomy.

What’s in the Kit?

Bird specimens from 20 species

A mounted head, skull or bill, spread wing, tail, and feet from each* of the following:
Great Horned Owl
Raven
Northern Shoveler
Pelagic Cormorant
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Short-eared Owl
Chicken
Willow Ptarmigan
Ruffed Grouse
Pigeon
American Kestrel
Northern Flicker
Snow Bunting
White-winged Crossbill
Orange-crowned Warbler
Pine Grosbeak
White-crowned Sparrow
Varied Thrush
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Rufus Hummingbird

* Some specimens represented only by wing, head and/or feet

Recommended grade levels: 4-12
Key words: Evolution; Adaptation; Birds; Diversity; Variation; Classification
Alaska State Standards: SA1-2, SC1-3, SG2-4 Subject: Science

 

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Raptors of Alaska Kit

This kit allows students to become familiar with the many birds of prey that live in Alaska.

Students will learn about the different groups of hawks and be able to understand how they fly, what makes an owl an owl, what special adaptations they have for hunting and flying silently and for living year round in Alaska.

 

What’s in the Kit?

13 bird round skins
specimens:
Sharp-shinned Hawk
American Kestrel
Merlin
Boreal Owl
Barred Owl
Northern Goshawk
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
Great Gray Owl
Great Horned Owl (2)
Northern-hawk Owl
Short-eared Owl

5 bird wings specimens:
Great Gray Owl
Northern Goshawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Osprey

5 bird tails specimens:
Boreal Owl
Great Horned Owl
Northern Goshawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Osprey

8 bird talons specimens:
Boreal Owl
Great Gray Owl
Great Horned Owl
Northern Goshawk
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk
American Kestrel

1 bird skull specimen:
Boreal owl

Recommended grade levels: K-12
Key words: Hawks; Owls; Talons; Raptors; Birds of Prey; Diversity
Alaska State Standards: SC1, SC2, SC3 Subject: Science

 

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Avian Diversity - Wings Kit

This kit includes assorted wings from over a dozen different taxonomic orders.

Each student (class of 30) can have a wing in front of them for hands-on learning about the anatomy of a bird wing, the different types of feathers and the functions they serve, and the diverse ways in which birds achieve flight.

The taxonomic diversity of this kit provides many different opportunities for students to sort and classify and learn about evolution and taxonomy.  

What’s in the Kit?

33 spread bird wings
(from 31 different bird specimens)

Recommended Grade Levels: K-12
Key words: Birds; Wings; Diversity; Feathers; Flight; Variation
Alaska State Standards: SA1, SA2, SC1, SC2, SC3, SG1, SG2, SG3 Subject: Science

 

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Gull Wings & Feet Kit

Explore variations within species! The Mew Gull (Larus canus) is one of the most abundant avian migrants occurring in Fairbanks each summer. This kit contains 20 sets of Mew Gull wings for hands-on learning about bird wings, different types of feathers, and the ways in which birds achieve flight. Students can also look closely at the similarities and differences among individuals to understand diversity within a species.  

 

What’s in the Kit?

40 Mew Gull wings
specimens
40 Mew Gull feet specimens
Herring Gull wing specimen
2 adult Herring Gull feet specimens
3 Herring Gull tails (different ages) specimens          

Recommended grade levels: K-12
Key words: Birds; Wings; Feathers; Flight; Variation; Population
Alaska State Standards: SA1, SA2, SC1, SC2, SC3 Subject: Science

 

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