Things to do
1. Get to know the pollinators
and provide them with nesting places
Pollinators are important for biodiversity and food production. Some plants do not produce seeds at all without pollinators, and many plants produce more seeds or fruits if pollinated by animals. More than 75% of our most important food plants are at least partially dependent on pollination by insects and other animals. The decline of pollinators threatens food production worldwide.
You can help pollinators by building a nesting place in your own backyard or nearby forest. You can use the instructions published by Michigan State University or Permaculture Research Institute. If you want to learn how to identify pollinators, you can read the identification guides by Polli:Nation. You can also view pictures of wasps, bumblebees, honeybees and flower flies found on the Finnish Biodiversity Information Facility's website. If you are looking for the challenge, you can familiarize yourself with the species identification guidelines for bumblebees on the Natural History Museum in London website.
How can you attract and feed pollinators? It does not really matter if you have a garden, balcony or free spot in the school yard. Spring is a perfect time for planting pollinator-friendly flowers! How to become a bumblebee gardener can be found Bumblebee Conservation Trust websites. And why not also welcome other pollinators like butterflies and moths! Which plants butterflies like can be learned from the team at BBC Wildlife Magazine.
It is interesting to observe the behavior of pollinators. You can start by watching what kind of flowers pollinators visit in your own neighborhood. More instructions and tips for observing pollinators have been compiled in our Remote Teaching Materials under the Observing nature: pollinators and flowers pages.
Remember that building insect hotels and having a diverse garden is a good start, but they are more of an inspiration that we have to change our lifestyles, think bigger and demand long term changes in climate and agricultural policies on a large scale. We need to ask: why insects are losing their natural nesting places and food and what we can do to avoid that in the first place?
Learn more about the importance of pollinators
and building nesting places for them:
* European Parliament: "What’s behind the decline in bees and other pollinators?"
* University of Helsinki: How can we slow down the decline of insects?
* Insect hotels 2020 campaign
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2. Bird Karaoke
Can you sing like a bird? Learn to imitate the songs and sounds of birds with karaoke videos, or have fun with your family in a bird karaoke where everyone sings in turn. If you wish, you can organize an event where the listeners shall identify which bird species the singer is performing. You get one point for the correct answer. It becomes more challenging if the singer listens to a karaoke video with headphones – then other family members will not hear the bird’s voice in the video. Bird Karaoke seems to be a real big thing in Finland compared to other countries! And the only available guide we found is in Finnish language on the web pages of Bird Karaoke page of Suomen Luonto ("Nature of Finland") magazine.
But never mind, we will help you out!
Here are links to each bird singing song listed on Suomen Luonto webpages:
whooper swan, eurasian woodcock feat. fly, red-throated diver, common snipe, eurasian bittern, common chiffchaff, eurasian blackbird, eurasian pygmy owl, great black-backed gull, eurasian magpie and great tit duet, common cuckoo and thrush nightingale duet, great grey owl, european pied flycatcher, black-headed gull, common wood pigeon, common crane, eurasian golden oriole, boreal owl, black-throated loon, common chaffinch.
Learn more about birds singing and sounds:
– Bird songs for beginners
– Bird Academy and the Cornell Lab: How and Why Birds Sing
– Bird Academy and the Cornell Lab: Play Bird Song Hero
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3. Nature Soundscape Spa
Pamper yourself or surprise your loved ones with a relaxing nature soundscape spa. First choose a theme for your spa moment: you can find lots of different nature sounds and soundscapes from internet (e.g. whale songs, bird songs, singing of insects, ocean sounds, soundscapes in tropics etc.) which you can use to make your own nature music play list. Next, make a nice and warm footbath and put your nature music play list on. Dim the lights, light a few candles, close your eyes and enjoy the diversity of sounds of nature!
Finnish nature soundscapes:
Soundcloud: Nature Sounds FM
Open Ocean: 10 Hours of Relaxing Oceanscapes - BBC Earth
10 Hours Of Relaxing Planet Earth II Desert Sounds - Earth Unplugged
10 Hours Of Relaxing Jungle Sounds - Planet Earth II - Earth Unplugged
10 Hours Of Relaxing Planet Earth II Grassland Sounds - Earth Unplugged
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