A Small Glimmer of Light in the Form of a Question

Today at our summer camp one of the kids asked a question that made me think maybe, just maybe, all is not lost. We were discussing migratory birds and reading a book about how they navigate. In the book, the author describes how scientists put birds in enclosed spaces and then change a bunch of variables, like the amount of light, whether or not stars are visible, etc., in order to figure out how each species uses points of reference in order to steer them to their destinations. In some cases the birds’ eyes were covered to see if they would fly into the walls without the use of sight, and in other cases the birds were released into a planeterium to see if rotating the stars in irregular patterns would disrupt their internal honing systems.

As we finish reading this segment of the book, a flurry of questions ensues, most of which are pretty irrelevant and many of which aren’t actually questions but kids just raising their hands and then forgetting to come up with a funny comment. But then, after the fray has died down a little, one little girl raises her hand and asks, “Did the birds like being put in the experiments?”

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