There's probably going to be a few different terms you can use, so take a moment to brainstorm those terms. Think about the different audiences for the articles you're searching for. Authors may use different terms depending on the audience.
For example: a scientific article will likely use the scientific name for a species while an article for the general public might just use the common name.
Some of your topics will be looking for information specific to our geographic region. There are a lot of different terms you could use to describe our region: Minnesota, Midwest, Upper midwest, Upper Mississippi River Valley, Norther United States, etc. Or, you might need to use terms like: urban or city.
As mentioned above, searching for articles for a scientific audience is much different from searching for an article for the general public. The terms used will be different and they places they're published will be different. In the links below, I've tried to call out which databases have which types of articles. Don't just search in one place, use at least a few of these resources to get a good list of results.
My general strategy is to throw a few terms into a search and then make tweaks from there.
Look at the results you get and pay attention to ways you could refine the results. Most of our databases will let you refine or narrow results by things like type of source (peer-reviewed article, vs book, vs other articles) or by subject or by date. These are all great ways to refine your results so they're more relevant. See the box to the right for more information.
Also pay attention to the words used in titles and descriptions of the articles that are relevant. What terms are they using that you might use to find more articles?
When you're looking for information online, a Google search is quite likely your first stop. Many of the same strategies listed above will apply to your search on google, though there are fewer ways to refine your results.
I've found that adding more keywords or typing out a full sentence works better in Google. Look at the first few results, and if they are not relevant, think about what they're showing you and whether you can add or remove some words to get better results.
If you want to narrow your results to only websites with a .edu or .org domain, you can use "site:[.xxx]" in your search
example: Google search for:
pollinator overwintering site:.edu Will return results from academic websites (that end in .edu)
Nearly every library database has a way to refine your results after you've run a search. I find this to be especially helpful! I can just throw some terms out there and then make adjustments to my search from the results screen.
Below is a screenshot of the "Refine Results" section on CLICsearch - it's on the left side of the results screen.