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Sample Lesson - Bird Song Safari

 Bird Song Safari

It's fun to go hunting for bird songs.


What You Need: A keen eye and a sharp ear.
Optional: Binoculars and a bird guide, if you have them.

What To Do: Take a walk through a place where birds live. Maybe a park, a beach or your own backyard! Listen carefully for bird calls, and pick out one that interests you.

What does the bird's song sound like to you? Listen to the call until you can put words to it. Take your time and use your imagination. On one safari I heard a bird singing "cheer up, cheerio!" Was it really? No, but it sounded that way to me.

For each bird call you can put words to, record it on the trophy sheet.

SparrowOnce you've found an interesting call, search for the bird. Use your eyes. Use binoculars if you can. This is difficult. The bird may be high in a tree. I heard one bird singing "toooo-teeee appleberry jam", that eluded me for weeks.

When you finally find the bird, capture it in your memory. Study it until you can go home and find it in a bird guide. From then on, whenever you hear that bird call, you'll be able to say "I know what that bird is!"





Bird Cartoon

Bird Banner

Bird Song Trophy Sheet

These are the birds and calls I've discovered.
Bird's Call Sounded Like: Bird Identity
(if found)
Date Discovered

Is this a funny way to learn bird calls?

Maybe, but it's what naturalists have always done. How do you think birds got names like "WHIP-POOR-WILL" and "CHICKADEE"?

Can you think of more birds whose names sound similar to their calls?


From the Parent Guide:


Bird Song Safari

Lesson Notes: This would make an excellent family outing. Incidentally, the “cheer up, cheerio” bird turned out to be an American robin, while the “tooo-teee appleberry jam” bird was a white-crowned sparrow. My bird guide tells me these sparrows have a lot of different local dialects, so they may sound different where you live.

Objectives: Through completing this lesson the child will: 1) Observe, with both eye and ear, birds in their natural environment; 2) Be able to identify birds from their calls.

Further Explorations (optional):
If you like bird watching your family may want to participate in the annual backyard bird count put on by cornell university and the audubon society. You can get more information at http://birdsource.cornell.edu or at http://www.audubon.org

©2006 by Stratton House

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