Bay Journal

Differences!

  • By Kathleen Gaskell on December 22, 2014
Am I a damselfly or a dragonfly? (Dave Harp) Am I a swallow or a swift? (Dave Harp) Am I a skink or a skunk? (Dave Harp)

Here is a “different” kind of puzzle. Each pair here contains two similar (or similarly named) plants or animals. Can you match each creature or plant with its description?

What is the difference between a…

1. Buteo & Accipiter?
A. This bird of prey has short wings and a long tail. These features help this forest dweller fly through a wooded area in search of the birds that it eats. Examples include the sharp-shinned hawk, Cooper’s hawk and the goshawk.
B. This (often large) bird of prey has a fan-shaped tail and medium-size wings. These features help this bird of open spaces to soar high in the air searching for its prey: ground-dwelling animals. Examples include the red-tailed hawk, red-shouldered hawk and broad-winged hawk.

2. Widgeon & Wigeon?
A. This is a dabbling duck that eats a variety of vegetation in the water and on land.
B. This is the name of a species of grass that is found in the Bay. It grows in slightly brackish to salty waters.

3. Downy Woodpecker & Hairy Woodpecker?
A. Both of these birds are similar looking. This bird is the size of a robin. It has a long bill and pure white outer tail feathers.
B. Both of these birds are similar looking. This is the smallest woodpecker in the United States and is about the size of a house sparrow. It has a short stubby bill and its outer tail feathers are barred.

4. Pillbug & Sowbug?
A. This crustacean has smooth, mostly even sides. It will curl up into a ball when faced with danger.
B. This crustacean’s outer shell is rougher. When faced with danger, it runs.

5. Cocoon & Chrysalis?
A. This is the pupate stage of a moth.
B. This is the pupate stage of a butterfly

6. Swallow & Swift?
A. This bird can rest on horizontal surfaces. It has a long, notched tail and shorter wings than the other bird.
B. This bird can only rest on vertical surfaces. It props itself on these surfaces using its short, square-ended tail, which is shorter than its long, narrow wings.

7. White Oak Trees & Black/Red Oak Trees?
A. The leaves of these trees have slightly rounded lobes. Their acorns are thinner and longer and have a smaller cap. The bark of these trees tends to be more textured. They shed acorns after only one year.
B. The leaves of these trees have sharp, serrated lobes. Their acorns are more rounded and have a larger cap. The bark of these trees tend to be smoother. They hang onto acorns for two years before dropping them.

Answers

1. A) Skunk B) Skink
2. A) Blue Jay B) Bluebird
3. A) Toadflax B) Toadstool
4. A) Staghorn B) Poison
5. A) Butterfly B) Moth
6. A) Damselfly B) Dragonfly
7. A) Canadian Goose B) Canada Goose

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About Kathleen Gaskell

Kathleen A. Gaskell, the layout & design editor for the Bay Journal, has been involved with several environmental programs for children.

Read more articles by Kathleen Gaskell

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