As a teacher of high school or undergraduate Biology, you can use this set of computer-based tools when teaching topics in Phenology such as migration of birds or flowering of plants.


Your current lesson plan can be augmented with additional computer-based classroom/laboratory activities that allow students to examine and analyze data related to phenological events such as bird migration, and to explore the possible impact of climate change on migration patterns. Thus, the use of this toolkit allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in the Biological Sciences.

Discipline Biological Sciences
Grade Level High School
Topic(s) in Discipline Phenology, Phenological Events, Migration of Birds, Flowering of Plants
Location Global (some activities are based on region-specific data)
Access Online, Offline (lesson plans and data can be downloaded for offline use)
Languages English
Climate Topic Climate and the Biosphere


1. Audio clip (approx. 1 min 30 sec) A short audio clip (approx. 1 min 30 sec) from Yale Climate Connections that discusses how climate change may be affecting bird migration patterns through Chicago:
2. A classroom/laboratory activity  An activity that includes reading, data analysis, and data interpretation exercises to discuss and understand the potential impacts of climate change on phenology. The effects on plants, birds, and other living organisms can be explored.Activity from W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University:
3. A computer-based classroom/laboratory activity  A computer-based classroom/laboratory activity from the National Park Service (NPS). This activity, “Osprey Migration,” allows students to understand why and how ospreys migrate, and to examine data on osprey migration patterns. This activity could also be extended with new exercises and discussions to investigate how climate change may affect osprey migration patterns.
4. Reading  An article from National Geographic about how climate change may pose a risk of extinction to more than half of North American birds (also includes visuals of the data from National Audubon Society for some bird species):
 5. Additional Resources Guided LectureA guided lecture from SERC’s InTeGrate Program. Authored by Julie K. Bartley, Gustavus Adolphus College: for Phenology and Climate Change

Lesson plans, activities, and data analysis exercises from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension:

Audio Clip Yale Climate Connections
 Classroom/Laboratory Activity  W. K. Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State UniversityNational Park Service (NPS), USA
 Reading  National Geographic
 Additional Resources  SERC’s InTeGrate Program, content authored by Julie K. Bartley, Gustavus Adolphus CollegeUniversity of Maine Cooperative Extension
 Images Osprey Watch left for Conservation Biology, Joel Sartone, National Geographic Image Ark

Disclaimer: All the pedagogical tools in our collated list are owned by the corresponding creators/authors/organizations as listed on their websites. Please view the individual copyright and ownership details for each tool by following the individual links provided. We have selected and analyzed the tools that align with the overall objective of our project and have provided the corresponding links. We do not claim ownership of or responsibility/liability for any of the listed tools.

An osprey photographed at Healesville Sanctuary in Australia