Activity of the Month Archive
Animal Site of the Month Archive
Elementary School Web Resources
Unit Resources and Video Support
Catalogs and Order Forms
FAQ About ESP
NYS Common Core Standards Correlations for ESP Units
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FAQ About ESP
A Wildflower Adaptation Study
Five Senses in Spring
Gravity and Inertia Games
Kites and Paper Airplanes
March, A Lion Or A Lamb?
Measure Day Length
New Plants from Old
Peeking at Pines
Plant a Tree
Science Inquiry Skills
Signs of Spring
Simple Spring Flower Hunt
Sprout Garden in a Jar
The Spring Sky
Thunder and Lightning
Using Energy Wisely
What Students Can Do for the Environment
Any season is a great season to learn about birds. Here are some science activities you can do to learn more about our feathered neighbors:
1. Listen to birds singing in your backyard or school grounds. How many different bird songs can you notice? Can you identify which birds are singing which songs? Try to see the bird that is singing or use a recording of bird songs to help you. Get a
recording of bird songs
to help you.
2. Get a field guide and start to learn how to identify birds.
3. Watch an individual bird for 15 minutes or more. How much time does it spend getting food? How much time singing? How much time looking around for predators? Does it gather nesting materials? Does it chase other birds? Does it visit a nest? How large an area does it move around in? What other birds does it pay attention to? What does it do with other birds? Why do you think it is doing these things?
Keep a list
of the different kinds of
birds you see in your yard
, your neighborhood or in a nearby park. Are all of these birds residents or are some of them migrating through? How can you find out? Investigate how you can
improve your yard
, your neighborhood or your school to attract more birds.
5. If you find a nest, observe it to see how long it takes for the eggs to hatch and for the young to fledge (leave the nest). Do not go to the nest as this can leave your scent there for a curious predator to follow and rob the nest of the eggs or young. Raccoons are notorious for this.
6. Get plans for a milk carton bird house, build it and put it up in your yard. Wooden bird houses really are better since they insulate against temperature extremes. See our
Building a Bird House
page for links to plans. Visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's
to see inside bird houses that have young in them.
7. Go on a bird walk with an area bird club or at a nature center. Ask others to help you by pointing out the birds they see and explaining how they recognize them.
8. Choose one bird song you can recognize, a
for example, and go around your neighborhood listening for that bird's song. How many cardinals do you hear? If each one is in its own territory, how many pairs seem to be nesting in your neighborhood?
9. Never rescue a baby bird by taking it home! If you find a baby bird with most of its feathers already present and it doesn't seem to fly well, it is a fledgling. Its parents will still feed it. It is just learning to fly. If a cat or other predator is nearby, you can pick it up and put it in a nearby shrub or tree to protect it. Taking it home is both illegal and likely to result in the bird dying of malnutrition. Raising a healthy baby bird is a full time job best left to the birds.
10. Visit our
Bird Unit Page
Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
Web pages for more information, links and ideas.
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