Bird Study

Requirements for Bird Study merit badge were revised effective January 1, 1998:

  1. Spend 3 hours in each of two different kinds of natural habitats or at two different elevations.
    1. List the different bird species you see.
    2. List the numbers of each seen.
    3. Explain why all birds do not live in the same kind of habitat.
  2. Spend 3 hours on each of 5 days in a large area. List the bird species you can identify by sound or sight.
  3. Recognize, by sound, 10 birds usually found in your neighborhood.
  4. List 8 families of birds usually found in your neighborhood.
  5. Write a 500-word history about a bird of your choice. Include the following information if available:
    1. Nesting habits
    2. Behavior and territory
    3. Food habits and diet
    4. Description and size of the young and adult birds
    5. Migratory habits, if it is not a permanent resident
    6. Any unusual characteristics about the bird you find interesting
  6. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Make 8 field trips during one season, about 3 months. Keep records of all the birds you see.
    2. Carefully observe a bird for an hour a day for 10 days. Record your observations.
    3. Go on an 8-hour Christmas census with a bird club. List all the birds you see.
    4. Go on an 8-hour May bird census with a bird club. List all the birds you see.
    5. Visit a bird refuge. Describe its purpose and give the management techniques used.
    6. Attend a meeting of a bird club such as the local chapter of the National Audubon Society. Report on what you learned.
    7. Write a 300-word paper on bird behavior.
  7. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Build a backyard sanctuary by planting trees and shrubs for food and cover. Describe what birds you hope to attract and why.
    2. Build 3 bird feeders of different kinds. Keep them stocked with food for 3 months in winter. Describe what kinds of birds are attracted to them. Indicate what kinds of foods were liked best.
    3. Take twelve clear, sharp, recognizable pictures of twelve species of birds.
    4. Build a watering device for birds. Keep it filled for 3 months. Tell what kinds of birds used it. Describe any interesting things you saw.
  8. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Select one species of bird that eats other animals Indicate its place in nature and briefly discuss its importance.
    2. Make a migration (flyway) map of the United States. Name some of the birds that use each flyway or migration route. Tell where they nest. Tell where they winter. Describe birdbanding.
    3. Make a list of 20 species of extinct and declining birds of the United States.

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