Welcome to Finishing Strong ~ a weekly link-up dedicated to families homeschooling middle & high school kids. Each Wednesday, moms just like you share their best tips, encouragement, advice, and more for teaching older kids at home.
I am delighted that families homeschooling middle and high school age students are coming together and finding inspiration in one another. That’s has been the goal of Finishing Strong since its inception. Thank you!!
Wildlife Biologists are scientists that observe and study the behaviors of animals. To do so, they use a variety of observational tools including binoculars, spotting scopes, wildlife blinds, and night vision goggles. Youth interested in learning more about animals and the study of wildlife can learn a great deal from the comfort of their home via a webcam.
We hope you’ll take some time to check out the amazing posts that have been shared with us. We are so thankful to all of our readers and contributors who help make Finishing Strong a key resource for everyone homeschooling through the middle & high school years.
Below are some of the posts I enjoyed from last week, as well as the one that received the most clicks (in the #1 spot). Did I choose one of your favorites?
from Annie & Everything ~ A great reminder that how you choose to homeschool high school is entirely up to you. “Once you understand that requirements vary by college, then you begin to realize that there is no one right way to do high school at home. You discover how flexible a high school curriculum can be — and then the task becomes a whole lot easier.”
from Bright Ideas Press ~ Year round homeschooling has been the best choice for us. We tried to take a summer off a year ago, however we continue to struggle to reestablish routines and motivation now that we have resumed.
from Starts at Eight ~ Geography has always been one of our favorite subjects. You’ll love the free geography printables bundle that Heidi has put together.
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As always, thank you for helping us to make Finishing Strong a key resource for families who are homeschooling through the middle & high school years.
What are you going to share with us this week?
Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
Please no advertising, individual Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, or other link-up links!
Grab our button to add to your post after you link it up. Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to highlight on all 4 sites. If you were featured, we would love for you to use the “I was featured” button.
The linky will go live on each co-host’s blog each Wednesday at 6am EST, and will be live until Tuesday at 11:55 pm.
Wildlife Biologists are scientists that observe and study the behaviors of animals. They frequently observe the features of certain wildlife and determine the role these animals have in their specific ecosystems. Many Wildlife Biologists specialize into a particular area of study defined by ecosystem or species. Some of these fields include: Entomology (insects), Ichthyology (fish), Ornithology (birds), or Marine Biology.
Youth interested in learning more about animals and the study of wildlife can learn a great deal from the comfort of their home via a webcam. Though limited in scope, animal cams can provide a glimpse into the lives of animals and are one tool to help develop our understanding of animal behavior.
I have compiled a list of some of my favorite animal cams from around the world. Take time to browse them all or utilize the printables I’ve provided below to develop a more in-depth wildlife biology study on your favorite animal.
Our Favorite Animal Cams
Location: Decorah, Iowa Best time to watch: Eggs may begin hatching between March 25 and March 29 based on a 35 to 39 day incubation period.
The Decorah bald eagles nest atop a large white oak tree in a secluded valley. Their eggs hatch roughly 35 days after they are first laid, which means that three eggs within the nest right now are due any time now.
We became captivated by this breeding pair when we first moved to Redding in 2011. The female Bald eagle has successfully fledged 14 eaglets and in 2015 had 3 youngsters in the nest! This is not the first time she has done this, as she did the same in 2009 and 2010. Only 5% of Bald eagles successfully lay and fledge three eaglets. Though this animal cam is currently offline (the eagle pair have moved), their story is fascinating.
Location: La Verne, California Best time to watch: March (chicks are hatching any minute)
Bella the Hummingbird has been nesting for more than 10 years. Her nest is about the size of a golf ball, and her eggs are only about the size of a mint. Every spring she lays eggs and a couple weeks later the world watches new life being born. This year, she last laid her eggs on the 6th and 8th of March. When I checked in with her as I wrote this post, they’d recently hatched.
Great Horned Owls
Location: Montana When will you see babies? Due in roughly 2-3 weeks.
The Montana owlets are due two or three weeks from now. Since owls are nocturnal, this is a live feed worth checking out later at night when the other animal cams have little or no activity.
When we lived in Bend, the spotted owl pair at the High Desert Museum were receiving a lot of media attention. It had previously been believed that Spotted Owls required old growth forest to survive yet here were a rehabilitated pair who had successfully reared several consecutive clutches of chicks. Sadly, I believe the owl cam is presently offline.
Location: Aquarium of the Pacific (Long Beach, California) Best time to watch: All the time.
The above the water cam shows the edge of the rocky beach, where penguins hop in and out of the water. You can watch as they swim and float on the surface. They also have a below the water cam to view the penguins as they dive and dart below the surface.
A mama bear and her three bear cubs is what you’ll get if you tune into the Brooks Falls animal cam, which features big shaggy brown bears catching fish, wading around, and just generally having a good time in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. Since bear cubs are only due in July, this cam currently hosts a continual stream of highlights gathered from several live cams.
Location: Blue Spring State Park (Maitland, Florida) Best time to watch: Winter and early Spring
We first discovered the Save the Manatees Club when we were planning a family holiday to the Florida Keys. Though the manatee season has ended, favorite clips are still accessible. The live cams will resume again next season.
Location: Monterey Bay Aquarium (Monterey, California)
You can watch sea otters here from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time. Daily feeding times are 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. And who knows? Maybe you’ll spot an otter pup somewhere in there.
This sloth cam, part of Zoo Atlanta, lets you become virtual best friends with two-toed sloth Cocoa, his lady friends Okra and Bonnie, and baby sloth Raisin. Though it’s currently offline, you can still log in at 1:30 pm ET every other Wednesday for sloth chats.
Location: “North Pole” Best time to watch: Holiday season
Reindeer who aren’t employed by St. Nick live in the colder climates of North America and Europe where they feast on a diet of moss, leaves, and grass. They are sometimes referred to as Caribou in Canada.
Mpala Live – Meet the animals that roam Mpala in Kenya’s Laikipia area. Their website also provides field guides, lesson plans, and activities that you can download free to get more out of your viewing.
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For a comprehensive collection of animal webcams, visit Live Animals TV, the world’s largest collection of animal webcams.
Wildlife Biology Lesson Plans & Printables
I have put together a simplified ethogram or inventory of behaviors and actions exhibited by an animal. The free printable will be available for my newsletter subscribers later this week. Take a moment to subscribe today. It will be available only for a limited time.
Most aquariums, zoos, and wildlife centers around the country have developed activity guides and animal observation lessons. You’ll find curriculum and materials for many of the animal cams shared above at the original host site. Many of these can be modified for use with animal cams as well as during your site visit. Browse their education links to see what you can find.
the science of animal behavior.
the study of human behavior and social organization from a biological perspective.
The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois provides a wonderful Zoo Observation Data Sheet whereby students use an ethogram-based data sheet to record animal behavior. Thereafter, students use the data they have collected to develop their own animal behavior research project. Their materials can be adapted to wildlife viewing locations around the world.
You may also wish to download this very informative Animal Behavior slide show presentation to become familiar with the range of animal behavior and understand the methods that ethologists use to study animal behavior.