Living on the Edge
What do you notice about this area? There are two different types of habitat.
An edge is an area where two different habitats come together. Look at this edge. Food can grow well in the open spaces where there is more sunlight. Shelter is easier to find in the brushier spaces.
Prey animals will be attracted to areas with food, and to areas with shelter. At an edge, food + shelter = safer food. Predators will be attracted to areas with prey, so both predators and prey will spend time at edges.
This edge has water, too. See if you can find evidence of animals, or places you think an animal might like to use as a shelter. As you go up the hill, see if you can figure out the source of the stream. Does the source of the stream change the way animals use it?
The edge with the cue card is one of the first stops on the hike, before any of the trails have branched off. If there is a group using that spot when you arrive, try teaching about edges somewhere else. Remember, edges are everywhere.
The cue card has the basic information, but try to expand on it as much as possible. Have the students come up with examples of animals that might utilize edges, and examples of habitat edges they have seen in other places.
Look for edges throughout the rest of the hike. Compare and contrast them.
If it is after Monday, the students have already been on Water field study. Ask them about riparian zones and relate them to edges.