Terns & Plovers

Terns & Plovers is a story of the efforts to provide habitat for two endangered bird species and the unlikely partnership between heavy industry and biologist/researchers to care for and understand these birds. A part of the story concentrates on a single plover who was banded several years ago and who over-winters on the same beach in Florida year to year and then makes the trip back to Nebraska every spring to mate and rear a brood. Embedded within this story are interactive activities that teach students to decipher the codes that bird researchers use when banding the birds with various colors and flags. STEM lessons are aligned to both Next Generation Science Standards and Nebraska State Standards.

  • Photographs - Terns & Plovers

    See the differences between terns and plovers in this selection of photographs by Michael Forsberg.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Lesson Plan - Terns & Plovers

    Learn about ornithology via citizen science in this lesson plan by Charles Bittle, a Lincoln Public Schools Science Teacher.

    STEM lessons are aligned to both Next Generation Science Standards and Nebraska State Standards.

    Grades: 5-8,13+
  • An Unlikely Partnership, Part 1

    Watch this video to learn more about the unexpected relationship between heavy industry and the endangered birds, interior least terns and piping plovers.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Bird Banding - Terns & Plovers

    In this video, learn about the importance of researching and monitoring endangered bird species using colored flags and bands.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Break the Bird Band Code

    Break the Bird Band Code is an interactive activity and a fun way to learn more about banding birds. Through a series of logical steps, students will learn about USGS markers, banding regions and flags, and colored bands that indicate sex, region, and  site and year captured. 

    Grades: 5-8
  • Career: Ornithologist

    Learn what it takes to become a bird biologist, or Ornithologist. Interview with Mary Bomberger Brown.

    Grades: 5-8
  • An Unlikely Partnership, Part 2

    Watch this video to understand the positive impact humans can have on endangered species.


    Grades: 5-8