For the Birds

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In this outdoor activity, learners turn the fun of feeding wild birds into an investigation of bird behavior. Learners feed pigeons, ducks, jays, sparrows or sea gulls, exploring which kinds of food different birds prefer, whether birds can find food in a cup or under a cloth, and how some birds in a group get more food than others. Learners are also asked to consider how human feeding changes a bird's behavior and could affect bird and other animal populations.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • bread (can be stale)
  • popcorn (popped)
  • birdseed: sunflower seeds, chick mash, or pigeon mix (available at pet shops)
  • small paper bags or cups (1 per team of two)
  • Action Cards (page 5 of PDF)
  • "Models" card (page 6 of PDF)
  • colored construction paper for making bird models
  • large lump (1 kg) of clay for making snake models
  • marking pens (many different colors)
  • 2 pairs of scissors
  • 6 clear plastic cups
  • 6 pieces of cloth (each 20 cm x 20 cm)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Populations
      • Human Impact
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



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