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One fun thing about science projects is it gives you freedom to explore things that really interest you. Curious about how birds fly, or how they migrate? Try one of these fun projects on birds!
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Research Birding Hobbies
Visit a nature conserve or gather books from the library on birdwatching. Write a report on the hobby of birdwatching. Learn to identify birds by their sounds and if possible, find a CD or tape that includes bird calls. Make a graph with pictures of various birdhouses and the kinds of birds they attract. Include information on the kinds of birdseed different birds prefer.
Many bird populations are dwindling, due to pesticide use and loss of habitat. Research and report on endangered bird species and what humans can do to help.
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Explore Migratory Patterns
Did you know that geese have a strategy for flying in a V-pattern? The goose at the front of the formation works the hardest. As it moves through the air, it creates an aerodynamic flow, making flight easier for the birds behind. As the leader tires, it drops to the back and another goose takes its place. When a goose is injured or ill, two geese drop behind to stay with the goose until it dies or can rejoin the flock. Talk about team work! Younger children might enjoy acting out the migratory pattern of geese and this lesson provides a great opportunity to explore team work among children.
Do some further research into the fascinating migratory patterns of birds. What bird migrates the farthest? Do most birds migrate solo or with a flock?
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Explore the many kinds of homes birds make. Some birds make traditional nests from sticks, mud and debris. But many birds nest in unusual places, including holes in the ground or tree. Explore wooded areas and look for abandoned nests or nests that have fallen to the ground. Examine the nest and bring it to class (place the nest in a sealed plastic bag for several days to get rid of any insects). Gather materials like twigs, grass, clay and twine to make your own nest. Make a chart showing pictures of birds and their various homes.
Make a candy nest as a visual display and a treat for your friends. In a microwaveable bowl, melt 1/2 cup white chocolate chips on medium-high for 45 seconds. Stir until the candy is completely melted. Add 1 cup chow mein noodles and mix. Place the mixture in a shallow bowl until it hardens. Run hot water on the underside of the bowl for 15 seconds to loosen the nest and remove it from the bowl. Put jelly beans in the bowl to represent eggs.
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Study One Bird
Choose your favorite bird and learn everything you can about it. Where does it live? What does it eat? What color are its feathers, and do males and females look different? How does it raise babies? Do both parents help?
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Study Flight Dynamics
Birds have hollow bones, making them exceptionally light-weight. Aeronautics experts have studied birds' flight for many years to gain insights into flying airplanes. Research how birds fly and make a model, using straws, toothpicks and play doh.
Have other ideas on bird projects? Share in the comments!