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Tallgrass Prairie Center

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Bird Study

Bird Study Merit Badge

Bird Study Merit Badge Patch

Requirement #2 Show that you are familiar with the terms used to describe birds by sketching or tracing a perched bird and then labeling 15 different parts of the bird. Sketch or trace an extended wing and label six types of wing feathers.

Requirement #5 Observe and be able to identify at least 20 species of wild birds. Prepare a field notebook, making a separate entry for each species, and record the following information from your field observations and other references.

  • (a) Note the date and time.
  • (b) Note the location and habitat.
  • (c) Describe the bird’s main feeding habitat and list two types of food that the bird is likely to eat.
  • (d) Note whether the bird is a migrant or a summer, winter, or year-round resident of your area.

Requirement #8 Do ONE of the following: 

  • (a) Go on a field trip with a local club or with others who are knowledgeable about birds in your area.
    • (1) Keep a list or fill out a checklist of all the birds your group observed during the field trip.
    • (2) Tell your counselor which birds your group saw and why some species were common and some were present in small numbers.
    • (3) Tell your counselor what makes the area you visited good for finding birds.
  • (b) By using a public library, the internet, or contacting the National Audubon Society, find the name and location of the Christmas Bird Count nearest your home and obtain the results of a recent count. 
    • (1) Explain what kinds of information are collected during the annual event.
    • (2) Tell your counselor which species are most common, and explain why these birds are abundant.
    • (3) Tell your counselor which species are uncommon, and explain why these were present in small numbers. If the number of birds of these species is decreasing, explain why, and what, if anything, could be done to reverse their decline.