Throughout the month, we’ve been watching the behavior of birds by making bird feeders and studying their visitors. This exciting program takes place with the 7th grade at Forest Lake Christian School. You can build your own feeder easily and try the experiment along with us!

Bird feeders are great for more than just bird watching. They are a great way to make outdoor science accessible to your classroom in the winter months. Projects based around bird feeders and bird feeding behavior can be used to meet several different Middle School Life Science Standards as well.

Build your own…

Bird Feeders, can be bought cheaply online or homemade. Here are several homemade designs using recycled materials.

Study the visitors!

Here are some questions to reflect on before building your feeder:

1) All birds have to balance their ability to find food with the likelihood they get eaten. Describe 3 ways a bird could decrease the likelihood they get eaten while searching for food. 

2) Describe one characteristic of a bird feeder that might increase the number of birds visiting it. 

3) Describe a different characteristic of a bird feeder that might decrease the number of birds visiting it.

After building and installing your feeder, you can decide what you’d like to study. Consider the following, or design your own questions:

-track what types of birds and how many of each visit your feeder

-investigate how long each bird spends at the feeder and hypothesize why

-study the time of day or weather conditions when the most/least birds visit your feeder

-try a variety of types of food and birdseed, and see what types of birds you can attract

Common birds in the Sierra

Pigeons:
Pigeon
Woodpeckers:
Hairy Woodpecker
White-headed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Jays and Crows:
Steller’s Jay
Clark’s Nutcracker
Raven
Black-billed Magpie
Song Birds:
Mountain Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Dark-eyed Junco
Ducks and Geese:
Canada Goose
Mallard
Raptors:
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk

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