Stabroek News Sunday - - GRADE FIVE SCIENCE -

Hello Boys and Girls, Did you en­joy the In­de­pen­dence cel­e­bra­tions in your school? In your com­mu­nity? Let’s see how well you will an­swer these ques­tions.

1 When did Guyana gain her in­de­pen­dence? Who were the main per­sons in­volved in the gain­ing of Guyana’s in­de­pen2

dence? 3 Name four sym­bols of na­tion­hood that came about through in­de­pen­dence. 4 Guyana was a colony of __________________ and we were called

____________ ___________. Do con­tinue to work as hard as you can. En­joy all the ac­tiv­i­ties that you do. They help you to learn to re­mem­ber.

This week we will con­tinue to dis­cuss birds. Do you re­mem­ber what was dis­cussed so far? Can you name the dif­fer­ent types of feath­ers? Name the feath­ers below.


Spe­cial long feath­ers are found around the mouths of some in­sect-eat­ing birds. These may ei­ther act like a fun­nel to catch the in­sect in the air, or they may pro­tect the eyes while catch­ing an in­sect. Other birds use feath­ers on the side of their mouths to se­lect fruits.

Keep­ing clean

Some birds, like herons, have small feath­ers called pow­der down that they crush with their beak and feet to rub into the nor­mal feath­ers and keep them con­di­tioned. This pow­der down may also help con­trol feather par­a­sites like mites.

Aid­ing di­ges­tion

Did you know that some fish-eat­ing birds also eat their own feath­ers to line their di­ges­tive area? This helps to pro­tect the bird from sharp fish bones.

Con­struct­ing nests

Many birds (espe­cially wa­ter birds) line their nests with bird feath­ers. This helps to keep their eggs warm and also pro­vides a soft pad­ding. Some birds like para­keets ac­tu­ally use the feath­ers lo­cated on their bot­tom and lower back to move grass and leaves to their nest.

Trans­port­ing wa­ter

When rais­ing eggs and baby chicks, many adult birds will soak the feath­ers on their belly be­fore re­turn­ing to the nest. They can then use the wa­ter to keep the eggs from dry­ing out and to give their chicks a drink. Some birds that live in the desert (like the sand­grouse) have spe­cial belly feath­ers that are very good at hold­ing wa­ter. This adap­ta­tion lets them nest fur­ther away from wa­ter holes, to avoid the higher num­bers of preda­tors found in areas near wa­ter holes.

Es­cap­ing from preda­tors

When birds are at­tacked or fright­ened they can drop some of their tail feath­ers. This is called fright molt. This some­times helps the bird get away, leav­ing the at­tacker with only a mouth or foot full of feath­ers.

Send­ing vis­ual sig­nals

Feather colours and pat­terns are used to send sig­nals to mates and ri­vals. This is likely the largest and most used func­tion of feath­ers.


Some­times bright colours are not good. To keep from be­ing seen by preda­tors, many birds have feath­ers that look like dead leaves or other parts of the sur­round­ings they live in so that preda­tors can­not see them. Some preda­tors also like to blend in so that their prey may come closer, mak­ing the prey eas­ier to catch.

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