It has been an unusually wet Spring in SW Victoria and so we have seen some different types of wildlife around the place. This little chick is an Australasian Grebe or Little Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae), that my daughter found in our farm dam. The mother built a floating nest on the pump pipe and laid 3 eggs. She tends to dive a lot when frightened and lets out a loud “tik-tik” call. We have also found a lot of different tadpoles and frogs in a swampy area behind the dam and identified one as a Southern Brown tree frog. I haven’t been able to identify this little fella in the picture below, so if you know what it is, please leave me a comment. I have been uploading some of our nature pics to Flickr, using the #pics4school and #kanawinka tags, if you are interested in more images of flora and fauna from our local area.
After Cadbury’s Chocolate factory and lunch at Richmond historic village we visited ZooDoo. ZooDoo is a wildlife park quite unlike any I have ever been to! They have an unusual mix of farm animals, native australian animals and some exotic species, such as Bengali tigers and pygmy marmosets. “Up close with the animals” is an understatement at ZooDoo. And don’t miss the shetland minature pony race!
This term the year 7 Science class will be working on an exciting collaborative project with a class from New York. Mr Ardito’s Year 7 scientists will be sharing their knowledge about American animals, while our class share their knowledge of Australian animals. The goal is for each student to produce a design for a camouflage or “crittercam” that will enable a wildlife researcher to get up close to their chosen species. Students will need to research the structural, functional and behavioural adaptations of their organism and think carefully about the most effective way to study the creature’s habits. I have set up a wiki titled “Extraordinary Animals” and created a Voicethread, which students will add to (This is also shown below, with the echidna).