Studying birds is one of the most popular outdoor
activities in America. Thousands of people put food out for wild birds,
watch birds in their yards, put up birdhouses,
travel to see new bird species, and participate as amateurs in
scientific studies of birds. Birding or bird watching is an interesting
life-long hobby and ornithology or the study of birds is a fascinating
area of science.
If you are feeding wild birds, you may wish to
identify the seed found in wild bird food mixes you are using. Then,
research which of these seeds are preferred by the birds in your area.
ESP Birds and their Adaptations unit includes hardware to put together a
bird feeder using materials from the kit plus a #10 or 3 pound coffee
can. Can't put up a bird feeder to watch birds at school? Visit an online bird feedercam in Ithaca, New York, or in North Carolina.
The Elementary Science Program had a past Activity of the Month on Bird Study which has some helpful tips on learning more about birds including how to identify a bird. The Complete List of North American Birds has photos and information which could help with identifying birds. The Virtual Birder has a number of resources to help build and practice bird identification skills. Patuxent Tools for Learning About Birds has many resources for learning to identify birds by sight and song. Songs and Calls of Some New York State Birds has "au files" of bird songs.
The PBS site for The Life of Birds has information about bird biology and the making of this TV series.
heard of an owl pellet? Owls swallow their prey bones, feathers, fur
and all and cough the undigestible parts out later. Visit Virtual Owl Pellet Dissection, part of KidWings, to learn more.
In the spring, a Webcam feeds live images to the Internet from an active Peregrine Falcon nest on Kodak tower in Rochester.
Cornell's Laboratory of Ornithology has a page of live Webcams looking into birdnests of several species. Check it out.
Want to know what birds are being seen where you live? The Virtual Birder Regional Birding Information pages can help you find out. The New York Birding Wiki has a number of useful resources about bird sightings, places to go, etc.
Rochester area is home to one of the best spring hawk watching sites in
North America. For information on Lake Ontario hawk flights and the
most recent spring's migration study results, visit the Braddock Bay Raptor Research site. The Rochester Birding Association has other information on birding around the Rochester Region.
spring, students "find" fledglings, baby birds newly out of the nest
who do not fly very well yet. These are still being cared for by their
parents and should NOT be rescued. If they are in danger from a cat or
other source of injury, they can be picked up and put in a tree or bush
nearby. Birds do not notice smells very much and will not abandon their
young if you held them for a moment. For a good video about rescuing
birds, see A Home for Pearl (recommended by teachers from Tonawanda City
Birding on the Net has articles about birds in the news and an extensive set of bird related links.
The Chipper Woods Bird Observatory has some nice on-line resources including photos of birds, articles about owls, a student bird trivia quiz, and more.
The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology has an online bird guide, and other resources for amateur birders, including ways to get involved in research.
A list of official state birds is just one of the bird resources at here with illustrations and information about them from John J. Audubon's famous Birds of America, 1840.
Cats Indoors is a Website with lesson plans sponsored by the American Bird Conservancy
about an often over-looked way of conserving birds, keeping a common
backyard predator away from wild prey. Staying indoors is also good for
the health of your cat.
Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in
central New York has added education resources about osprey research,
wetlands and other bird related topics at Learning on the Wing.