Kids' Cicada Hunt!

Things to Do During this Year of the Cicadas

There are two lists on this page:

     Things YOU can do if you find an adult cicada.

     Things our family plans to do this spring as part of our Cicada Hunt 2007.  
  


Periodical Cicada Home 
 
Cicada
Blog
 

Cicada Hunt 2007 Photo Stories 

Things to Do This Spring 

Kids afraid of bugs?

Cicada Citizen Science

Cicada Hunt 2003 Photo Story 

Local Cicada Exhibits 

Local Cicada
Programs
 

Cicadas in the News 

Cicada Books

Cicadas on the Web 

Tracking Use of Cicada Websites 
  

  
Things YOU Can Do if You Find an Adult Cicada

This list includes places where you can report your own cicada finds.

You can stick a pin in the Interactive Online Emergence Map.
This citizen-science project is run by the Lake County Forest Preserve District:  http://www.lcfpd.org/cicadamap/

You can report it on Cicada Mania.  Go to the Cicada Mania Message Boards, here:
 http://www.cicadamania.com/message-board/

You can tell your story to the Chicago Tribune's Pro-Cicada Garden Blog.  The Chicago Gardener is run by Beth Botts: http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/chicago_gardener/2007/05/tell_us_your_ci.html

You can take its picture and post it to The Cicada Project.  This is a project of the Homer Township Public Library.  While the library waits for the real thing, they are being visited by jade cicadas from Hong Kong. http://thecicadaproject.blogspot.com/2007/05/welcome-to-cicada-project.html

You can write a poem about it.  If your poem is Haiku, you can enter a contest, described here:
http://www.chicagocicadahaiku.com/

You (or your pet) can eat it.  Cicada Mania has useful information on this topic, too:
http://www.cicadamania.com/delicious.html  

  

Things Our Family Plans to Do This Spring 

Here's a list of things that the boys and I want to accomplish during this year of the cicadas

Earliest Examples.  We want to find the earliest examples of everything we can related to periodical cicadas.  We want to find the earliest burrow, nymph, and adult, and hear the earliest songs.  Go here to check our progress.

Talk to the Neighbors.  We want to talk to people who have lived in our neighborhood for more than 17 years.  They may be able to tell us what we can expect around here when the cicadas emerge.  Based on our neighbors’ 1990 experience, can we expect a lot of cicadas, very few, or none at all?  Our results to date:  Our neighbors say they saw some Periodical Cicadas in 2000, but not as many here as elsewhere (like at Brookfield Zoo and in Elmwood Park.)

Write Things Down.  Once the cicadas start emerging, we want to see and hear it happen.  What time of day will they emerge?  When will they start to sing?  We will keep written records, and post them on our CicadaBlog and elsewhere on this site.

Watch One Shed Its Skin.  At least once this spring we will bring a nymph into our house so we can watch it shed close up.  Here's a link to a page with some lessons we learned about doing this with annual cicadas: http://saltthesandbox.org/cicada_hunt/YouCanDo.htm#KeepLiveCicadas This spring, we may set up a much larger cage--like a 10-gallon aquarium or larger--so we can be sure the cicada nymphs turn into healthy adults.

Which Birds Eat Them?  We are really into birding right now, so we will keep records of all the birds (and other animals) we see eating cicadas.

How Many Kinds?   What types of periodical cicadas are in our neighborhood?  The scientists suggest we may have three different kinds.  We will use appearance and songs to tell them apart, using this website: http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/projects/cicada/sp_pages/species_NA.html#Magicicada

How Many Emerged Here?  We also hope to do some counts of emergence holes on the tree lawn in front of our house.  There is a large American Elm tree here, and we can imagine that lots of cicada nymphs have been sucking on its roots for the past 17 years.  If we come up with a good way to count holes, then we can compare what we find with what cicada scientists have recorded in their studies.  This online teachers' guide has an interesting idea for counting holes on page 39:
http://www.ket.org/education/guides/worldofnature2.pdf  

Which Bugs Eat Them?  We want to look for insects that specialize in eating cicadas, or in feeding them to their young–like Cicada Killer Wasps and Sandalid Beetles.  Most years we only see these insects in July, August, and September.  Will these cicada-eaters come out early this year?

Find Eggs and Babies.  We will try to find the eggs (laid in live twigs) and the babies (which fall to the ground when they hatch).  We tried this one year with annual cicadas, but without success.  
This webpage has photos of periodical cicada eggs and nymphs about 2/3s of the way down the page: http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/projects/cicada/NA/Magicicada/index.html

Which People Will Eat Them?  Ethan will want to cook and eat a few cicadas, and maybe serve some to his friends.  If the cicadas emerge a bit earlier than expected, we may snack on them at Ethan's birthday party.  Here's a link to a PDF file with some recipes we may try:
http://www.newsdesk.umd.edu/pdf/cicada%20recipes.PDF

  
I’m sure we will think of more things to look for and to do this year.  We’ll let you know when we do–or you can make your own suggestions!
   

 

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        Copyright 2004-2007 Eric D. Gyllenhaal                                                                                       Search this Site
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          This page was created on April 1, 2007, and it was last updated on May 17, 2007.