Monday, September 26, 2016

Episode 335 (9-26-16): Canada Geese in Sound and Original Music


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (3:58)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, images, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 9-23-16


TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 26, 2016.

MUSIC – ~ 7 sec

This week, we feature music and mystery sounds, about a creature whose calls and migratory flights are well-known signs of seasonal change.  Have a listen for about 25 seconds, and see if you can guess this long-necked creature.

MUSIC -- ~ 10 sec

SOUNDS - ~ 13 sec

If you guessed geese, you’re right!  You heard the sounds of the Canada Goose, along with “Geese Piece,” music composed especially for this episode by Torrin Hallett, a student at Oberlin College and Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio.  The Canada Goose is found particularly near shallow water bodies with good supplies of plant food.  It’s the most widespread of seven goose species that breed in North America, six of which occur at least occasionally in Virginia.  Within the Canada Goose species, scientists recognize at least 10 subspecies, varying in size, color, and breeding location.  As the name implies, many Canada Geese migrate to Canada, or the Arctic, for summer breeding, flying in characteristic V-shaped flocks that, for some people, symbolize seasonal turning points.  For example, in the book Life in the Chesapeake, authors Alice and Robert Lippson remark that “the early fall arrival of the Canada goose...heralds the oncoming winter like no other species in the Bay.”

From its traditional northern breeding areas, however, Canada Goose populations have spread south, with nesting populations now in all 48 continental states.  These populations, including those in Virginia, take advantage of food and water in agricultural areas and increasingly in city parks and ponds, where large numbers of resident geese can cause problems for human visitors, aquatic habitats, and smaller waterfowl.  High above, though, in fall and spring, this big bird’s flying formations and distant honking still alert humans to change in the air.

Thanks to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for this week’s sounds, and to Torrin Hallett for this week’s music.  We close with a few more seconds of “Geese Piece.”

MUSIC - ~ 19 sec

SHIP’S BELL

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close the show.   In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

“Geese Piece” is copyright 2016 by Torrin Hallett, used with permission.  Many thanks to Torrin, a fourth-year horn performance, music composition and math major at Oberlin College and Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio, for composing the piece especially for Virginia Water Radio.”  More information about Torrin is available at his Web site, http://www.torrinjhallett.com/.

The sounds of Canada Geese were taken from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife National Digital Library, http://digitalmedia.fws.gov/cdm/ (for sound clips specifically, see http://digitalmedia.fws.gov/cdm/search/searchterm/%28mp3%29).

PHOTOS
Canada Geese at Morven Park in Leesburg, Va. (Loudoun County), March 22, 2008.

 Canada Goose at Heritage Park in Blacksburg, Va. (Montgomery County), March 31, 2007.

  Canada Geese flying above Heritage Park in Blacksburg, Va., (Montgomery County), January 6, 2012.

EXTRA FACTS ABOUT GEESE IN VIRGINIA

According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) “Fish and Wildlife Information Service,” online at http://vafwis.org/fwis/?Menu=Home.Species+Information, the following geese species and subspecies occur in Virginia, at least occasionally. The name of each species is hyperlinked to additional information from VDGIF. Scientific names are in parentheses.

Brant (Branta bernicla brota)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
Greater White-footed Goose (Anser albifrons flavirostris)
Ross' Goose (Chen rossii)
Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens)
Lesser Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens caerulescens)

SOURCES

Used in Audio

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “All About Birds,” online at http://www.allaboutbirds.org.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and American Ornithologists’ Union, “Birds of North America Online,” online at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna (subscription required).

Fairfax County, Va., “Geese Management Program,” online at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/wildlife/management/geese-management.htm.

Alice Jane Lippson and Robert L. Lippson, Life in the Chesapeake Bay, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Md. (2006) (quote used in the audio found on page 162).

Chandler S. Robbins et al., A Guide to Field Identification of Birds of North America, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2001.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service,” online at http://vafwis.org/fwis/?Menu=Home.Species+Information.

For More Information about Birds in Virginia and Elsewhere

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society, “eBird” Web site at http://ebird.org/content/ebird/.  Here you can find locations of species observations made by contributors, and you can sign up to contribute your own observations.

Virginia Society of Ornithology, online at http://www.virginiabirds.net.  The Society is non-profit organization dedicated to the study, conservation, and enjoyment of birds in the Commonwealth.

Xeno-canto Foundation Web site at http://www.xeno-canto.org/.  The site provides bird songs from around the world.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html). See particularly the “Birds” category.

The following episodes focus particularly on seasonal changes in bird populations and activities:
Warblers and spring migration – Episode 157, 4/15/13;
Summer birds – Episode 118, 7/9/12;
Fall migratory birds – Episode 183, 10/14/13; Episode 281, 9/14/15 (on hummingbirds);
Winter birds – Episode 150, 2/25/13.

SOLS INFORMATION FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS

This episode may help with the following Virginia’s 2010 Science Standards of Learning (SOLs):

Grades K-6 Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change Theme
K.10 – Changes in natural and human-made things over time.
1.7 – changes in temperature, light, and precipitation affect plants and animals, including humans.
2.7 – Weather and seasonal changes affecting plants and animals.
3.8 – Basic patterns and cycles in nature.

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 - Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.

Grades K-6 Life Processes Theme
2.4 - life cycles.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
2.5 - living things as part of a system, including habitats.
6.7 - natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.8 - community and population interactions, including food webs, niches, symbiotic relationships.
LS. 10 - changes over time in ecosystems, communities, and populations, and factors affecting those changes.
LS.11 - relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Biology Course
BIO.8 - dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

The episode may also help with Virginia 2013 Music SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Episode 334 (9-19-16): A Virginia Rivers Quiz


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:59)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, images, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 9-16-16.


TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 19, 2016.

SOUND – ~ 4 sec

This week, that sound of the James River at Lynchburg sets the stage for a Virginia rivers quiz. I’m going to ask six questions about six of Virginia’s major rivers, and after you get a few seconds to consider each question, I’ll give you the answer with a musical selection about the correct river. Here are the musical selections for the different rivers:
“All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight,” played by Chloe Benner and Stewart Scales [MUSIC - ~ 6 sec];
“James River Blues,” by Old Crow Medicine Show [MUSIC - ~ 3 sec];
“Rappahannock Running Free,” by Bob Gramann [MUSIC - ~ 5 sec];
“Shenandoah,” played by Timothy Seaman [MUSIC - ~ 6 sec];
“On the Banks of New River,” by Whitetop Mountain Band [MUSIC - ~ 6 sec];
and for the Clinch River, “Clinch Mountain Quickstep” by Timothy Seaman [MUSIC - ~ 4 sec].

Now the quiz begins!
Question 1: Name the river whose main stem is NOT actually in Virginia. [SHORT SILENCE THEN MUSIC – ~ 5 sec - “All Quiet Along the Potomac”] That’s the Potomac River, which is part of Maryland.

Question 2: Which of the rivers mentioned has its entire drainage area, or watershed, within Virginia? [SHORT SILENCE THEN MUSIC – ~ 4 sec - “Rappahannock Running Free”] The answer is the Rappahannock River. Some might have said the James, but a small part of its headwaters is in West Virginia.

Question 3: Which Virginia river has the largest watershed? [SHORT SILENCE THEN MUSIC – ~ 4 sec - “James River Blues”] This time the answer IS the James River, whose watershed covers over 10,000 square miles in Virginia.

Question 4: What’s the longest river in Virginia, counting only each river’s main stem, not all of the tributaries? [SHORT SILENCE THEN MUSIC – ~ 4 sec - “James River Blues”] Once again, it’s the James, whose main stem travels about 340 miles.

Question 5: What Virginia rivers flow generally north? [SHORT SILENCE THEN MUSIC – ~ 12 sec - “Banks of New River” and “Shenandoah”] Virginia’s major northerly-flowing rivers are the New River and the Shenandoah River.

And last, question 6: What river flows southwesterly into Tennessee? [SHORT SILENCE THEN MUSIC – ~ 6 sec – “Clinch Mountain Quickstep”] That’s the Clinch River, one of several rivers in southwestern Virginia flowing toward the Volunteer State in the Tennessee River watershed.

If you’re thinking that this short quiz left out some major Virginia rivers, you’re right! Other main rivers in the Commonwealth are the Holston, Roanoke, and York. And parts of Virginia drain into rivers or other water bodies in other states, including the Big Sandy River that forms the border between Kentucky and W.Va.; the Yadkin and Chowan rivers in North Carolina; and Albemarle Sound on North Carolina’s coast.

Thanks to all the musicians mentioned for permission to use their music. And we close with another musical excerpt, one that’s fitting for the activity you just did: “Exploring the Rivers” by Timothy Seaman.

MUSIC - ~ 8 sec

SHIP’S BELL

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463. Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close the show. In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

“All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight” was recorded for Virginia Water Radio by Stewart Scales and Chloe Benner; this music was featured in Virginia Water Radio Episode 318, 5-30-16.

“Clinch Mountain Quickstep,” by Timothy Seaman, is from the 2002 album, “Sycamore Rapids,” copyright by Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music, used with permission; this music was featured in Virginia Water Radio Episode 184, 10-21-13. “Shenandoah,” performed by Timothy Seaman and Paulette Murphy, was from the start of “Hazel River,” on the 1997 album “Here on this Ridge,” copyright Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music, used with permission; this music was featured in Virginia Water Radio Episode 130 (10/1/12). “Exploring the Rivers,” by Timothy Seaman, is from the 2006 album “Jamestown: On the Edge of a Vast Continent,” copyright by Timothy Seaman and Pine Wind Music, used with permission; this music was eatured in Virginia Water Radio Episode 140, 12-10-12. More information about Timothy Seaman is available online at http://www.timothyseaman.com/.

“James River Blues,” by Old Crow Medicine Show, is from the 2006 album “Big Iron World,” copyright Nettwork Records, used with permission; this music was featured in Virginia Water Radio Episode 166 (6/17/13). More information about Old Crow Medicine Show is available online at http://www.crowmedicine.com/.

“On the Banks of New River,” by Whitetop Mountain Band, is from the 2008 album, “Bull Plus 10%,” copyright Whitetop Mountain Band and Arhoolie Records, used with permission; this music was featured in Virginia Water Radio Episode 109 (5/7/12). More information about Whitetop Mountain Band is available online at http://whitetopmountainband.tripod.com/index.html.

“Rappahannock Running Free,” by Bob Gramann, is from the 2008 album, “Mostly Live,” copyright by Bob Gramann, used with permission; This music was featured in Virginia Water Radio Episode 71 (7/11/11). More information about Bob Gramann is available online at http://www.bobgramann.com/.

IMAGES

 James River at Robius boat landing in Chesterfield County, Va., June 21, 2007.
 New River near Eggleston, Va. (Giles County), August 13, 2016.

 
White’s Ferry on the Potomac River, viewed from Loudoun County, Va., March 23, 2008.

Rappahannock River near Remington, Va., (Fauquier County), December 27, 2009.
North Fork Shenandoah River at U.S. Highway 55 on the county line between Shenandoah and Warren counties, Va., October 13, 2012.

SOURCES USED IN AUDIO AND FOR MORE INFORMATION

Radford University, Virginia’s Rivers, online at http://www.radford.edu/jtso/GeologyofVirginia/VirginiasRivers/Drainage-1.html.

Frits van der Leeden, The Environmental Almanac of Virginia, Tennyson Press, Lexington, Va., 1998.

Frits van der Leeden, Virginia Water Atlas, Tennyson Press, Lexington, Va., 1993.

Kathryn P. Sevebeck, Jacob H. Kahn, and Nancy L. Chapman, Virginia’s Waters, Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Blacksburg, Va., 1986.

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, “Virginia’s Major Watersheds,” online at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil-and-water/wsheds.

Virginia Museum of Natural History, “Virginia’s Water Resources,” special issue of Virginia Explorer, Winter 2000, Martinsville, Va.

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, “West Virginia Watersheds,” online at http://www.dep.wv.gov/WWE/getinvolved/sos/Pages/Watersheds.aspx.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).

For previous episodes on water-related geographic features in Virginia, please see the “Rivers, Streams, and Other Surface Water” category” category at the Index link. Following are links to some geography-related episodes.
Walk across Virginia – Episode 110, 5/14/12.
Exploration of the Chesapeake Bay – Episode 140, 12/10/12.
Water and settlement of Roanoke – EP181, 9/30/13.
Water and the Civil War – Episode 101, 3/5/12; Episode 104, 3/26/12; Episode 164, 6/3/13.
Water and the Revolutionary War – Episode 103, 3/19/12; Episode 168, 7/1/13.
Water origins of Virginia Declaration signers – Episode 220, 6/30/14.
Musical Tour of Rivers and Watersheds – Episode 251, 2/2/15.
Geography – Episode 265, 5/11/15.

SOLS INFORMATION FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS
This episode may help with the following Virginia’s 2010 Science Standards of Learning (SOLs):

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 - Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
6.7 - natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; and water monitoring.

Earth Science Course
ES.8 - influences by geologic processes and the activities of humans on freshwater resources, including identification of groundwater and major watershed systems in Virginia.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2008 Social Studies SOLs:

Virginia Studies Course
VS.2 – physical geography of Virginia past and present.

United States History to 1865 Course
USI.2 – water features important to the early history of the United States.

United States History: 1865 to Present Course
USII.2 – relationships among natural resources, transportation, and industrial development.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.

The episode may also help with Virginia 2013 Music SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Episode 333 (9-12-16): Dissolved Gases are Part of the Solution for Creatures Living in Water


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:24)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, images, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 9-9-16.



TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 12, 2016.

This week, we have a special episode written just for Virginia’s fifth-grade science students, about solutions, gases, and aquatic systems.

SOUND – ~6 sec

That’s probably a familiar sound to you: stirring chocolate powder into hot water. The stirring dissolves the chocolate into the water, making a solution of a solid in a liquid. Salty water is another example of a solution of a solid in a liquid, and pouring liquid detergent into a washing machine results in a solution of one liquid in another. But what, do you think, is in the solution in this next sound?

SOUND – ~9 sec

That was the sound of shaking, then opening, a bottle of soda, creating lots of bubbles and fizzing. Sodas are a solution mostly of water, sugar, and carbon dioxide, a gas dissolved in water that bubbles out when you shake the soda. Where else might you find gases dissolved in water? For one answer, have a listen to this sound.

SOUND – ~6 sec

That was the sound of gas bubbles rising from the bottom of a pond. The water in ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, and the oceans contains several kinds of dissolved gases. If you lived in water, what do you think would be the most important dissolved gas for you? Here’s a guest voice to help you with the answer.

VOICE – ~13 sec

Oxygen is required by most living things, and those that live in water depend on oxygen dissolved in the water. The number you heard—6.6 milligrams per liter—was the amount of dissolved oxygen in each liter of water measured in the James River near Jamestown on September 9, 2016, according to the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy system. Different aquatic organisms need different levels of dissolved oxygen, but almost all—except certain microorganisms—require some level. The amount of dissolved oxygen is one of the most important indicators of water quality and the overall health of many water bodies, including the Chesapeake Bay.

Finally, here’s a question for you to answer on your own. People can stir drinks to help make chocolate or other substances dissolve, but what kinds of natural processes stir water bodies to help oxygen and other gases mix with the water and dissolve? We close with three more sounds that should help you find a solution to that question.

SOUNDS - ~22 sec – [Note to teachers: The processes heard here are wind, waves, and river flow over a rapids. Other ways that oxygen and other gases get mixed and dissolved into water bodies are photosynthesis and groundwater (where groundwater represents a large input to stream flow).]

SHIP’S BELL

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463. Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close the show. In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to Kevin McGuire and Daniel McLaughlin, both with Virginia Water Resources Research Center and the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, for their help with this episode.

The pond bubble sounds were recorded at Heritage Park in Blacksburg, Va. (Montgomery County), July 27, 2016.

The audio of a dissolved oxygen measurement was recorded from a phone call on September 9, 2016, to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System, online at http://buoybay.noaa.gov/observations/parameters-measured; 877-BUOY BAY (877-286-9229).

The wave sounds were recorded at the Chesapeake Bay on Kent Island, Maryland, June 22, 2010.

The stream flow sounds were recorded at the South Fork Roanoke River near Elliston, Va. (Montgomery County), on August 23, 2012.

IMAGES

Chart of the minimum dissolved oxygen levels (in milligrams per liter) required by some common aquatic animals in the Chesapeake Bay. Image from the Chesapeake Bay Program, “Dissolved Oxygen,” online at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/bayecosystem/dissolvedoxygen.


Excessive growth of algae, such as on this pond in Leesburg, Va. (Loudoun County) in June 2010, can result in low dissolved oxygen levels at night (when the algae, like animals, use oxygen for respiration) or when the algae die and bacteria use oxygen as they decompose the algae. The Chesapeake Bay, Gulf of Mexico, and other many other water bodies typically experience seasonal patterns of excessive algae growth—generated by inputs of the nutrients nitrogen or phosphorus—that may lead to areas where the dissolved oxygen is too low for some period of time to support most aquatic life (so called “dead zones”).

 Two influences on dissolved oxygen in a stream: heavy algae growth (the dark green on the stream bottom) being decomposed by bacteria reduces dissolved oxygen levels, while flow over the rocky riffle aerates the water and increases dissolved oxygen levels.  Stroubles Creek on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Sep. 13, 2016.


SOURCES USED IN AUDIO AND FOR MORE INFORMATION

Karl Blankenship, Bay “dead zone” average in early August, Bay Journal, 8/17/16.

Chesapeake Bay Program, “Dissolved Oxygen,” online at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/bayecosystem/dissolvedoxygen.

Gerald A. Cole, Textbook of Limnology, 2nd Edition, C.V. Mosby, Toronto, Canada, 1979.

Encyclopedia Britannica, “Anaerobe,” online at https://www.britannica.com/science/anaerobe. (“Anaerobe” is the term for organisms that can live without oxygen.)

Fondriest Environmental Inc., “Dissolved Oxygen,” online at http://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/water-quality/dissolved-oxygen/.

Sheila Murphy, “General Information on Dissolved Oxygen,” April 2007, City of Boulder, Colo./U.S. Geological Survey, online at http://bcn.boulder.co.us/basin/data/NEW/info/DO.html.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), “2015 Gulf of Mexico dead zone ‘above average’; Heavy June rains, high July nutrient runoff levels likely cause for increased size,” 8/4/15 news release, online at http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2015/080415-gulf-of-mexico-dead-zone-above-average.html.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Ocean Service, “What is a dead zone?”, online at http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/deadzone.html.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, “Breath of Life—Dissolved Oxygen in the Chesapeake Bay,” May 2007, online (as PDF) at http://www.eco-check.org/pdfs/do_letter.pdf.

Linus Pauling, General Chemistry, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1970.

USGS Water Science School, “Dissolved Oxygen,” http://water.usgs.gov/edu/dissolvedoxygen.html.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Virginia Estuarine and Coastal Observation System, online at http://web2.vims.edu/vecos/Default.aspx.  (This site has an archive of data on dissolved oxygen, water temperature, and water clarity—called “Secchi depth”—from sampling locations around the Chesapeake Bay.)

VocabularySpellingCity.com, “Fifth Grade Science Vocabulary,” online at http://www.spellingcity.com/5th-grade-science-vocabulary.html.   (The site also has vocabulary for other grade levels and for other subjects.)

Robert G. Wetzel, Limnology, 2nd Edition, Saunders College Publishing, Philadelphia, 1983.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html).

Previous episodes on the physical states or characteristics of water are the following:
Episode 144 (1/14/13) - on ice on water bodies;
Episode 199 (2/3/14) - on snow and ice chemistry and physics;
Episode 249 (1/19/15) - on freezing and ice;
Episode 250 (1/26/15) - on boiling.

Previous episodes on water as a solvent are the following:
Episode 93 (12/19/11) - on solutions in cells;
Episode 210 (4/21/14) - on solutions generally.

Previous episodes designed especially for certain K-12 grades are the following:
Episode 249 (1/19/15) - on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade;
Episode 250 (1/26/15) - on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade;
Episode 255 (3-2-15) - on density, for 5th and 6th grade;
Episode 282 (9/21/15) - on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten;
Episode 309 (3/28/16) - on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.

SOLS INFORMATION FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS

This episode is targeted specifically for the following Virginia 2010 Science Standard of Learning (SOL) for 5th Grade:

Matter Theme
5.4 – Matter occurs as a solid, liquid, or gas; distinguishing properties of each phase; effect of temperature; “mixtures including solutions.”

The episode also may help with the following other Virginia Science SOLs:

K-6 Life Processes Theme
3.4 – Animal adaptations to satisfy life needs and respond to the environment.

K-6 Living Systems Theme
2.5 – Living things are part of a system; interdependence of living and non-living things.
4.5 – Plant and animal interactions with the non-living components of the ecosystem.

K-6 Matter Theme
1.3 – How common materials interact with water.
2.3 – Basic properties of solids, liquids, and gases.
6.5 – Unique properties of water – water as a solvent; water in all three phases.
6.6 – Properties of air and atmosphere – air as a mixture of gases.

Life Science Course
LS.9 – adaptations for living in a specific ecosystem.

Physical Science Course
PS.2 – Nature of matter – mixtures; solids, liquids, gases.

Biology Course
BIO.2 – Chemical and biochemical principles of life – water chemistry.

Chemistry Course
CH.5 – phases of matter and kinetic theory – pressure, temperature, and volume; partial pressure and gas laws.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Episode 332 (9-5-16): When Fruits Wane, Cedar Waxwings Flash Their Colors Over Aquatic Insect Habitats


CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (3:28)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, images, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 9-2-16.


TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO

From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of September 5, 2016.

This week, we feature another mystery sound. Have a listen for about 15 seconds, and see if you can guess what’s making the following whistling sounds. And here’s a hint: as fruits and flying insects WAX and wane, this WINGED creature’s food habits also change.

SOUNDS - ~16 sec

If you guessed a Cedar Waxwing, you’re right! If you’ve ever gotten a good look at this 5-inch-long bird, you may have seen its distinctive black mask, yellow or sometimes orange tail bar, and bright red, waxy secretions on their wings, from which the name “waxwing” comes.  Cedar Waxwings occur throughout Virginia and in all seasons.  The other North American waxwing species, the Bohemian Waxwing, has only been observed occasionally in a few Virginia counties.

Cedar Waxwings are large fruit-eaters, whenever fruits are available on vines, shrubs, or trees, including cedar trees, whose seed pods can provide a major part of the birds’ winter diet.  Often the birds will gather in large groups at a fruit source.  Cedar Waxwings’ high fruit diet sometimes leads to flying drunkenly, when the birds consume older fruits whose sugar has fermented into alcohol.

But when fruits are scarce, Cedar Waxwings turn largely to insects, particularly the adults of species with aquatic immature stages, such as mayflies, stoneflies, and dragonflies.  At a Virginia pond or stream in summer, you can see Cedar Waxwings darting off of a tree perch for a mid-air capture of emerging or swarming aquatic insect prey.  That flying ability can be on display in winter, too—some people have reported seeing Cedar Waxwings catching snowflakes!

With their dashing colors, darting flights over water, and often dense flocks, Cedar Waxwings are a fascinating feathered treat—unless you’re an adult aquatic insect!

Thanks to Lang Elliott for permission to use this week’s sounds, from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs.

SOUND – ~ 5 sec

SHIP’S BELL

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call us at (540) 231-5463. Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close the show. In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The sounds of Cedar Waxwings were taken from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region CD set, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes (Time Warner Audio Books, copyright 1997), used with permission of Lang Elliott, whose work is available online at the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/.

Thanks to Stephen Schoenholtz for suggesting this episode.

Thanks to Chuck and Mary Houska for permission to visit their Blacksburg, Va., pond to observe Cedar Waxwings feeding on emerging aquatic insects.

PHOTOS

Cedar Waxwing at Hawley Bog in Hawley, Massachusetts, July 2011. Photo by Bill Thompson, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov, accessed 9-1-16.


Cedar Waxwing in a sycamore tree at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, August 2015. Photo by Michelle Smith, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov, accessed 9-1-16.


Tree-lined pond in Blacksburg, Va., where Cedar Waxwings were feeding on emerging mayflies and other aquatic insects, September 1, 2016.

SOURCES

Used in Audio

Arthur Cleveland Bent, “Cedar Waxwing,” in “Life Histories of Familiar North American Birds,” Smithsonian Institution National Museum Bulletin, Vol. 197 (1950), pages 79-102, accessed online at http://birdsbybent.com/ch31-40/cwaxwing.html#winter. This document includes an account of an observer seeing Cedar Waxwings catch snowflakes.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “All About Birds,” online at http://www.allaboutbirds.org.

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and American Ornithologists’ Union, “Birds of North America Online,” online at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna (subscription required).

National Wildlife Federation, “Cedar Waxwing,” online at https://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Wildlife-Library/Birds/Cedar-Waxwing.aspx.

Chandler S. Robbins et al., A Guide to Field Identification of Birds of North America, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2001.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service,” online at http://vafwis.org/fwis/?Menu=Home.Species+Information.

For More Information about Birds in Virginia and Elsewhere

Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society, “eBird” Web site at http://ebird.org/content/ebird/. Here you can find locations of species observations made by contributors, and you can sign up to contribute your own observations.

Virginia Society of Ornithology, online at http://www.virginiabirds.net. The Society is non-profit organization dedicated to the study, conservation, and enjoyment of birds in the Commonwealth.

Xeno-canto Foundation Web site at http://www.xeno-canto.org/. The site provides bird songs from around the world.

RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES

All Water Radio episodes are listed by subject category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html); see particularly the “Birds” subject category.

For a previous episode on another group of birds the feed on insects over water, please see “Swallows,” Episode 329 (8-15-16).

SOLS INFORMATION FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS

This episode may help with the following Virginia’s 2010 Science Standards of Learning (SOLs):

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme

4.9 - Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.

Grades K-6 Life Processes Theme
1.5 - animals’ basic needs and distinguishing characteristics.
3.4 - behavioral and physiological adaptations.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
2.5 - living things as part of a system, including habitats.
3.5 - food webs.
3.6 - ecosystems, communities, populations, shared resources.

Life Science Course
LS.8 - community and population interactions, including food webs, niches, symbiotic relationships.

Biology Course
BIO.8 - dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/.