Project Ultraswan

Project Ultraswan

by Elinor Osborn


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It has been nearly 200 years since hunters killed the last of the trumpeter swans living in the eastern part of North America. Now that the birds are protected by law, scientists hope to restore them to their former range. But unlike birds who have their migration maps built in, trumpeters must learn the routes from their parents. So scientists in the Trumpeter Swan Migration Project are taking on the role of parent swans, teaching cygnets to follow ultralight aircraft in an effort to reintroduce a migrating population to the Atlantic coast.
    This fascinating fieldwork includes transportation of ten-day-old cygnets from Alaska to the training site in New York State, the design of a special uniform to prevent the baby swans from recognizing their caretakers as human, and the process of training the birds to follow the ultralight—including the heartbreak of setbacks and the exhilaration of successes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618585458
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 06/19/2006
Series: Scientists in the Field Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 64
Product dimensions: 11.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.18(d)
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

Elinor Osborn learned of the Trumpeter Swan Migration Project when the biologist/pilot for the project presented a slide show at a local bird club meeting. The work sounded so exciting, she rolled out of bed at 4:30 a.m. a few days later to see the swans-in-training for herself. A professional photographer and writer, Elinor Osborn lives in Penfield, New York.

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Project Ultraswan 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
wackermt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Project UltraSwan is the compelling account of how scientists worked to teach endangered trumpeter swans their migration route, after adult swans had passed away and the route was lost. Osborn explains in coherent fashion the origin of the swans, how the scientists became involved, and the account of the journey. The story itself is engaging, and Osborn does a capable job of giving background, and explaining the process, while moving the story along appropriately.I had no prior knowledge of the topic, but I finished the book eager to learn more about trumpeter swans, as well as to read more books in the Scientists in the Field series. I was skeptical when this book was recommended to me, but sold after having read it. It is complex enough for an older audience, yet clear and direct for middle school students as well. I used it as a hook in my classroom to introduce a project about flight, and it was generally well received by my high schoolers.
bpoche on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Project Ultraswan details the attempts of scientists to teach tundra swans unknown east North American migration routes. Swans became extinct within these migration routes and are being reintroduced via an ultralight aircraft. The book contains a lot of information on trumpeter swans, but there is not much information on results of Project Ultraswan because it is early. Lots of questions will be answered once more data show significant population increases as a result of the effort. Allows an opportunity for students to hypothesize about the success of the project and some variables that may alter the outcome either way. Another good read from Scientists in the Field.
rmthoma2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought i wouldn't like this book but i was wrong . The book talks about a group of trumpet swans that are becoming extent and how a group of scientist are helping the babies learn the migration route using plains . It is really interesting and a great book to use in any biology class .
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Project UltraSwan is an attempt by scientists to reintroduce trumpeter swans into parts of their natural habitats on the east coast and teach them to follow migration patterns. Nearly exterminated by hunters after the colonists came to America, the trumpeter swans have been missing from the east coast of America for a long time. They're slowly making a comeback in western North America, but since swans learn their migration routes from their relatives, these routes have now been lost. Using an ultralight aircraft, scientists are attempting to teach the swans migration routes. The Scientists in the Field books have been very hit or miss with me and this one was a miss. Although I found the subject matter somewhat interesting, the project seems to be in the beginning stages and a book about it seems a little premature. I did learn about scientists that I knew nothing about and I think this title would certainly appeal to the young ornithologists in our midst. It's well-researched and includes information about the different kinds of swans, what their feathers look like and do, and what people have been doing to help regenerate the trumpeter swan population. I'd definitely recommend this for units on endangered species, but maybe not so much for recreational reading.