Feathered Friends

Q: “Why aren’t female birds included on the ID list this year? Identifying female birds is just as important as identifying male birds and my team was upset the female birds weren’t included this year.”

A: Thank you for the question and comments.

The study of female birds is just as important as the study of male birds.  The Olympiad event/exam includes questions about behavior and reproduction of both female and male birds.  Additionally identification of species without sexually dimorphic plumage will also include both female and male birds.  However, this year’s focus on visual identification of birds with sexually dimorphic plumage (plumage that occurs in two distinct forms) will be of male birds.

As with all WESO events, we encourage coaches, students and teams to extend learning as far as they wish to take it.  In fact, WESO exists to encourage a passion for learning science that extends beyond the classroom.  To feed a student’s passion beyond the event description and study guide is worthy of celebration.

Each year, WESO develops events with a particular focus.  WESO shares the focus in part to support coaches without expertise who wish to coach a team.  Our intent is to generate interest, excitement and participation as broadly as possible and encourage exploration regardless of initial knowledge and expertise.

For Feathered Friends, as well as all other events, WESO conducts an evaluation of the event’s success in meeting its goals at the end of the Olympiad and uses that information in developing future events.   Feedback from students and coaches is welcome.