Backyard Birdwatch

Find birds in your backyard!

Recommended for: Grade 4
Estimated time: 45 minutes

Learn about how birds use their beaks and try to find birds in your backyard or neighborhood!

House Finch

Materials Needed

What is an Adaptation?

An adaptation is a characteristic that helps a living thing survive in its environment. One important adaptation for birds is their beaks. Beaks are more than just a bird’s mouth, they are also special tools that help a bird eat its favorite food! Beaks come in many shapes and sizes, and each one is suited for a particular type of food!

Additional Resources

If you find any birds not listed in the Bird Guide, visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology or Audubon websites to help you identify them.

Activity Steps

Step One:

Use the Beak Guide to learn about different beak adaptations and their functions.

Step Two:

Take a walk around your neighborhood or yard to see what birds you can find. You can use the Bird Guide to help identify them!

Step Three:

Use the Beak Guide and Bird Guide together to identify the beaks of the birds that you see. You can also try to identify the beaks of birds you didn’t see!

Step Four:

Invite your child to draw their own bird species. Discuss what type of beak they gave their bird and how it helps their bird eat its favorite food!

Indoor Modification

If you’re unable to go for a walk, try sitting by a window to look for birds!

For Further Discovery…

Keep a list of the birds you see around your neighborhood or yard! For identification assistance, try downloading the Merlin Bird ID app on a phone or tablet. Enter the location and date, as well as the unknown bird’s size, color, and behavior, and the app will provide you with some suggestions!