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B.C. Nature Guide

B.C. Nature Guide by Division 3 students at

Mount Pleasant Elementary

MTP

BEST

SELLER 1

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Copyright © 2013 The Writers’ Exchange The Writers’ Exchange makes literacy exciting and accessible for inner-city kids through free mentoring and creative writing projects like this chapbook. All Writers’ Exchange programs are free for the children and families we serve, so we could not exist without the support of generous donors, including Megan Abbott, Marily Mearns, The Vancouver Foundation, Lindsay Mearns, Nancy and Ted Maitland, Bernard MacLeod, Claudia Casper and James Griffin, and Claudia Cusano and NUVO magazine. Thank you. And thank you to Andrea O’Brien, Claire Thompson, Dylan Doubt, Emily Vucic and Sarah Desrosiers, the amazing volunteer mentors who worked with the kids on this Writers’ Exchange program so that each student could succeed to the best of his or her ability.

Writers’ Exchange c/o Queen Alexandra FAMILY School 1300 East Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5N 1V5 The Writers’ Exchange is a project of Tides Canada Initiatives Society. To read more great student writing, visit www.vancouverWE.com

Design and layout by Krysta Furioso www.krystafurioso.com

Printing for this chapbook was generously donated by Hemlock.

Writers’ Exchange in-school projects are made possible by the Vancouver Foundation

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Contents 6

Blue Jay/Stellar Jay

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Glaucous-Winged Gull

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The Great Horned Owl

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Bald Eagle

10 Owl 11 Rufous Hummingbird 12 Bald Eagle 13 Monarch Butterfly 14 Night Snake 15 Rattle Snake 16 Northern Flying Squirrel 17 White-Tailed Deer 18 The Grey Wolf 19 Black Bear 20 Mountain Lion 22 Wolverine 23 Leech 24 Sunfish 25 Harbour Seal 26 Sixgill Shark 28 Great White Shark 29 Orca 30 Porpoise

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Introduction This book contains information about different animals and it was written by students in Division 3 at Mount Pleasant Elementary School, with help from Writers’ Exchange mentors. This book has a lot of facts and cool pictures. It is about animals from land and sea. They are mainly only from B.C. Wow!

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B.C. Nature Guide

Blue Jay/Stellar Jay By N. N. The blue jay/stellar jay lives around Vancouver. The bird is common in the mountains on the north side. To stay warm they stay in coniferous trees. The blue jay/stellar jay has blue and black feathers. Blue jays eat nuts and stellar jays eat scraps.

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B.C. Nature Guide

Glaucous-Winged Gull By J. D. It is a common gull of the British Columbia coast. It stays in B.C. all year. His wings have grey feathers and his face is white. They eat salmon by grabbing it with their beaks. They eat in the garbage bin. The fish are prey. Big sharks eat them. Fun fact: the gull’s foot is pinkish red. 7

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B.C. Nature Guide

The Great Horned Owl By M. F. They eat pocket gophers. They use snow to clean themselves. They have lemon-coloured eyes. They live in forests. They eat medium-sized mammals, and fish, small reptiles and birds. They can live up to 28 years and seven months. Their Latin and scientific name is Bubo Virginianus. They live in all of North America except Nunavut and Greenland. They will sometimes cough up owl pellets, which are when it eats an animal whole and burps up bones and fur. Owls can turn their heads 270 degrees. They weigh about 4.5 pounds. The female owl is much bigger than the male owl. Myth buster: People think they only eat mice but actually they eat medium-sized mammals, too. 8

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B.C. Nature Guide

Bald Eagle By G. D. The bald eagle lives anywhere in B.C. Bald eagles live in trees. They live near water. A bald eagle has a yellow beak and a white head. A bald eagle eats fish.

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B.C. Nature Guide

Owl By A. G. I chose owls. My animal lives in B.C. They live in dark places. They don’t move from place to place. The males are white and the females are brown. My animal has feathers. They stand out in the environment at night flying. They eat mice and voles. They fly at night and they use hearing to catch food. Sometimes badgers want to eat owls and foxes want to eat owls too. Owls have eyes that glow in the night.

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B.C. Nature Guide

Rufous Hummingbird BY J. C. Rufous hummingbirds live in the Pacific Coast lowlands, the Rockies, coniferous forests, meadows and western Oregon. The humming birds are small and have short wings. They have a bright orange colour on the back and belly. Hummingbirds have a lot of feathers. Rufus hummingbirds stand out in the environment. Hummingbirds eat nectar, insects and tree sap. They prey on spiders in their webs. When hummingbirds sleep it’s like they are dead, but they are alive.

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B.C. Nature Guide

Bald Eagle By D. I. The bald eagle is brown, white and yellow. It has brown feathers on most of its body. Bald eagles live in forests. They are found all over B.C., by rivers and streams. They migrate from Alaska to Vancouver. They migrate in winter. The bald eagle eats fish like salmon. One of the only things that kills bald eagles is humans. Fun fact: bald eagles can only lift about half their weight!

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B.C. Nature Guide

Monarch Butterfly By R. A. The animal I researched is a monarch butterfly. The monarch butterfly lives in southern B.C. They have to live in places that have lots of green around them. They do like to move around from place to place in the sky. The monarch butterfly does not have feathers or even fur—it only has wings and antennas. It doesn’t blend into the environment. When the monarch butterflies are caterpillars they eat milkweed, but when they turn into butterflies then they start eating fruits and they start drinking nectar. They spot their food, then they aim for it, then start sucking on it. A monarch butterfly eats plants and fruit-bearing trees, especially bananas, oranges and watermelon. When a bird eats them, they are a poison for the bird. It doesn’t taste good for the birds, so after that they warn other birds not to eat monarch butterflies. Did you know that the monarch butterflies that live in North America migrate up to 2,500 miles to get out of the cold weather and hibernate? 13

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B.C. Nature Guide

Night Snake By L. T. The night snake lives in southern British Columbia. It lives in grassland and deserts. The night snake’s colours are tan, yellowish or grey with dark blotches. They blend into the world. They grow up to 66 centimetres. The night snake mostly eats lizards. They also eat small snakes, lizard eggs, salamanders, frogs and toads. They have enlarged rear teeth located far back in the upper jaw with a mild toxin. When the night snake is being attacked it goes into a ball, flattens its head and it tries to attack. They have vertical eye pupils like a cat.

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B.C. Nature Guide

Rattle Snake By A. W. My animal is a rattlesnake. It lives in south-central B.C. It is called a northern pacific rattlesnake. It’s a big snake with a rattle on the end of its tail. Rattlesnakes love to eat mice, deer and voles. They use their sharp fangs to inject their prey with venom. Then, they will swallow the animal whole! Yum yum!

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B.C. Nature Guide

Northern Flying Squirrel By F. The northern flying squirrels live in the trees in the forests in B.C. They have brown fur and blend in with branches. The northern flying squirrel eat seeds, fruits and insects. They get their food with their claws. They do not threaten any animals. The northern flying squirrel’s size is 25 to 38 centimetres long, and 110 to 230 grams. The northern flying squirrel doesn’t really fly—they leap from tree to tree.

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B.C. Nature Guide

White-Tailed Deer By A. M. During winter it eats leaves and twigs of evergreens and brush. Its favourite places are grassy meadows, valleys, abandoned farms and young forests. The white-tailed deer is named for the bright fur under its tail that it uses to communicate danger to nearby deer and provides a guiding signal for following deer. Weight: 50–200 kgs

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B.C. Nature Guide

The Grey Wolf By M. I. The grey wolf is the largest wild member of the canine family and is one of the two wolf species in British Columbia. Wolves are found all over B.C. Wolves are found in a variety of habitats including temperate forests, deserts, mountains, tundra, grasslands and even places where people live. Grey wolves travel together. Grey wolves are beautiful animals—they come in many different colours. Some are grey, and some are black, white and brown. Some wolves blend in with their environment like the white and grey wolves, but some stand out like the black or brown wolf. Grey wolves hunt together. They prey on large mammals such as elk, moose and deer. Wolves hunt animals in different ways. One of the wolves’ main prey is moose. The moose has big and strong hooves that can injure and even kill a wolf. Wolves hunt by circling around their prey and making the space smaller. Grey wolves can survive without eating food for up to three days, but they prefer not to. The grey wolves’ prey is bears and humans and sometimes other wolves. Fun fact: wolves even stick their tongues out at each other to say, “Hey, I’m the boss.” 18

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B.C. Nature Guide

Black Bear By J. G. The black bear lives in eastern forests and on the coast of B.C. and Alaska. Black bears have larger ears, a pale snout and rounded back. Some black bears tear bark off trees to eat sap, eat salmon, berries and some leaves. Apparently black bears are omnivorous. Also, black bears are opportunistic animals for hunting. Black bears are excellent climbers. A lifespan of a black bear is 20 years. Black bears weigh up to 600 pounds. They can grow up to six feet. Myth buster: People think that all black bears hibernate in the winter, but only female black bears have to hibernate. Fun fact: a male black bear’s fur is darker than the female’s fur. 19

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B.C. Nature Guide

Mountain Lion, Also Known as a Cougar or Puma By P. K. Mountain Lions are carnivores. They are part of the cat family. They live in wooded, rocky places, usually near groups of deer. They are mainly buffy grey to tawny or cinnamon in colour with pale buff or nearly white undersides. Mountain lions eat mainly deer. Other prey include bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, moose, American beavers, common porcupines and even mice, rabbits, birds, adult bobcats and pets. Dogs and cats may be eaten. A female mountain lion may give birth to a litter of one to six kittens. The kittens nurse for two months and then start to travel with their mother. When they are travelling with their mother, the mother teaches them to hunt. The mountain lion is endangered because they have long been hunted as a threat to pigs, cows and sheep. The mountain lion is the largest of the medium-sized cats. Height: 2–3 ft at shoulders Length: 3.5–5.5 ft, 2.25-ft tail length Weight: 110–180 lb for males, 90–130 lb for females Lifespan: 12 years in the wild, up to 25 years in captivity Fun facts: Mountain lions can leap 16 feet straight up and 45 feet across. That means a mountain lion can jump over a school bus the long way. Mountain lions are the largest cat that can purr. Mountain lion attacks are very rare. More people are injured in car accidents or struck by lightning than are attacked by a mountain lion. Smaller people are the most likely victims. Myth buster: mountain lions don’t attack human for meat—they think it’s just a chasing game.

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B.C. Nature Guide

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B.C. Nature Guide

Wolverine BY Y. T. Wolverines live in northern Canada. They are really strong and they look like a badger, but so much bigger. They are black and white with furry hair and big claws. They eat lots of other animals like deer and moose, but they eat moose in winter and mice, caribou and mountain goats other times. A wolverine is as tough as a dinosaur. It is a big threat to other animals. A wolverine is really aggressive, so when it’s crossing the road and a truck comes by, instead of running, it could break the truck. It is a top predator and it is furious. It has sharp teeth. The wolverine is the skunk’s brother.

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B.C. Nature Guide

Leech: Ugly, Disgusting Stuff You Don’t Want to Know By C. S-M. They prey on people. They live in the Cariboo in muddy, warm water. They suck your blood and cling onto you. They move around in water by wiggling around in water. Fun fact: leeches are good bait for fishing in late spring.

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B.C. Nature Guide

Sunfish By A. W. Sunfish are found in deep water, often drift on their side on the surface and live in coral in oceans most of the time. The scaleless body is covered with extremely thick, elastic skin. Sunfish is a name for several kinds of fishes. One kind is called a panfish and another is a pygmy sunfish. They are related to crappies and black bass. The male is shiny red. The pumpkin seed is another name for a sunfish. They often rest on the surface in sunny weather. They sometimes weigh more than 1,000 pounds or 450 kilograms. There are fresh- and salt-water sunfish.

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B.C. Nature Guide

Harbour Seal By A. M. The harbour seal lives in the coastal waters of British Columbia. It sleeps on the ocean bottom and rests on tidal reefs. The seals don’t migrate. The harbour seal is very large and varies in colour from nearly black with light spots to nearly white with dark spots. It has flippers and whiskers and a tail. The harbour seal eats pacific loons. Seals also eat fish, squid, octopuses and small shrimp, krill and penguins. Harbour seals can swim very deep because they store oxygen. Fun fact: cruise ships migrate but seals don’t.

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B.C. Nature Guide

Sixgill Shark By O. Y. The sixgill sharks are found in the Strait of Georgia and on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The sixgill shark’s environment is deep, cool waters. The sixgill shark moves to the depths in the day and on the surface at night. The sixgill shark has six gills and one dorsal fin. Sixgill sharks have six rows of blade-like teeth. The sixgill shark stands out in its environment. They eat rays, squid and crab, but they are not a threat to humans. The sixgill sharks are threatened by fisherman that catch it by accident when they want to catch salmon. The sixgill shark is very fast and it has big teeth— that’s how it catches its food. Fun facts: The sixgill shark is four to eight metres long. The sixgill sharks are also found in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. They are found in the depths of 200 metres below in the ocean. It likes to eat crab the most out of its whole chart of food. Myth buster: People thing that sharks eat humans. They don’t. This animal is not a shark you’ll hear about every day like the great white shark.

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Great White Shark By K. T. My animal is the great white shark. They live in water. The sharks move from place to place. Sharks look like whales. They have skin. Sharks eat sea lions, seals, small whales, turtles and birds. Their stomachs are white and their heads are grey. Great white sharks have up to 300 teeth. Great white sharks live in cold water. Sharks can swim 24 kilometres per hour. Killer whales can eat great white sharks. Great white sharks are a fish, not a mammal.

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B.C. Nature Guide

Orca By D. B. Killer whales live off the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island. They live in the water. They move around in cold-water places. Killer whales have many different appearances—some have white spots on their eyes, some don’t. They do not have fur—they have slippery skin. They stand out a lot for their tricks and how they act! They can eat seals, but really they can eat anything they can swallow. They eat about 45 to 135 kilograms per day. They always catch food unexpectedly. Wherever they find something they can eat, they gobble it down. Killer whales are a threat to sea birds, seals, sea lions, whales and squid! Humans are not always a threat to killer whales, but sometimes they are! Fun fact time! Killer whales are overly protective over their young ones. Killer whales are as big as a school bus. Mother killer whales give birth every three to ten years. Killer whale teeth are about four inches long. 29

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B.C. Nature Guide

Porpoise By Y. My animal is a porpoise. The kind of the porpoise is a Dalls. The porpoise blow out water and air out of a hole on their back and head. Dalls porpoises are black and white. Porpoises are similar to dolphins and whales in a way. There are only six species of porpoises world wide and are often mistakenly referred to as dolphins, which they superficially resemble. The differences between a porpoise and a dolphin are their faces, fins and body shape. Porpoises have a small head with a narrow mouth and small flippers and a large white flank in the middle of their body. They weigh around 200 kg. 30

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B.C. Nature Guide

“This book is awesome. Read it now!” “This book is good.” “Read this book because it’s awesome.” Writers’ Exchange

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B.C. Nature Guide  

A handy nature guide written and illustrated by the Division 3 students of Mount Pleasant Elementary. Published by the Writers' Exchange.