What Do Birds Do?

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This activity (located on page 3 of the PDF) is a full inquiry investigation into bird behaviors. Groups of learners will brainstorm a list of possible behaviors to start, then separate into teams and head outside to bird watch. Learners identify species and behaviors and record these observations (from the list and any surprises) for further discussion when the teams reconvene. A wealth of citizen science bird watching opportunities can also be found online for any learners wishing to carry on with their research. Relates to linked video, DragonflyTV GPS: Cave Swallows.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Field Trip, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • paper
  • pencils
  • binoculars and bird identification books (optional)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Populations
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Gathering Data
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

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


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • hear
  • be mobile

Learning styles supported:

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


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • DragonflyTV


  • All rights reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., 2007

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 610429