Get Ready to Wander
When I say, “what does nature sound like?”, what comes to mind? Odds are, one of the sounds you thought of was birdsong. Birds are one of the easiest groups of animals that anyone can observe out in nature because of how easy they are to see and hear. There’s a lot that our singing, flying friends can teach us–some people who have been noticing and observing birds for a long time can even understand the meanings behind different bird calls and songs! This neighborhood scavenger hunt will help you begin your journey as someone who notices and learns from our bird friends.
This scavenger hunt works best if you can go on a walk around your neighborhood or go out to an open space out in nature. A yard with lots of bird life works just as well though!
A printed version of this checklist, or a smartphone that can access this document! Click here for a printable version!
Pencil and journal for drawing, notes, and answering the questions
What to Find:
5 different bird species
It’s okay if you don’t know their names! How many species did you know? How many species didn’t you know? If you don’t know the name of a species, give it a new name! How can you remember what it looks like, so that you can identify it next time?
Where do you think would be good places to look for feathers? Why would those places be good places to look? Were there other feathers around it? Why do you think a bird would lose a feather?
A flying bird
Can you describe how this bird flies? What do you notice about the size and shape of the wings? Where was this bird flying? Where do you think it was flying to?
A perching bird
How high was it perched? What was it perched on? Where was it looking? What was it doing? Did it stay there for a long time, or did it move somewhere else quickly? Why do you think it was perched there?
A bird standing on the ground
What was it doing with its body? Was it by itself? Where was it looking? Was it out in the open, or nearby places to hide? What else was nearby?
A singing bird
Where was it singing? Were there other birds of the same species nearby? Could you find a pattern in its song? Can you repeat the song in your brain? Can you mimic the song out loud, using your voice or whistles? Why was it singing?
When you were observing all of these birds, could you figure out why any of them were behaving the way that they were? Do you remember what all of the birds looked like? When you see each of these birds again, do you think they will be behaving in similar ways? Was it easier to remember what they looked like, or what they sounded like? Where do you think these birds go at night? Where do you think they are right now?
If you want to share your experience with someone, or figure out a nature mystery that you encountered, email email@example.com and maybe we can figure it out together.