Tallgrass Prairie Center



Nature Merit Badge

Nature Merit Badge Patch

Requirement #4 Do all of the requirements in FIVE of the following fields (some choices omitted based on relevance to prairie - check link in merit badge heading for further requirements): 

  • a. Birds (1) In the field, identify eight species of birds. (2) Make and set out a birdhouse OR a feeding station OR a birdbath. List what birds used it during a period of one month. 
  • b. Mammals (1) In the field, identify three species of wild mammals. (2) Make plaster casts of the tracks of a wild mammal. 
  • d. Insects and Spiders (1) Collect and identify either in the field or through photographs 10 species of insects or spiders.* (2) Hatch an insect from the pupa or cocoon; OR hatch adults from nymphs; OR keep larvae until they form pupae or cocoons; OR keep a colony of ants or bees through one season. 
  • g. Plants (1) In the field, identify 15 species of wild plants. (2) Collect and label the seeds of six plants OR the leaves of 12 plants. 

Note: In most cases, all specimens should be returned to the wild at the location of original capture after the requirements have been met. Check with your merit badge counselor for those instances where the return of these specimens would not be appropriate. Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, some plants and animals are or may be protected by federal law. The same ones and/or others may be protected by state law. Be sure that you do not collect protected species. Your state may require that you purchase and carry a license to collect certain species. Refer to the following Iowa DNR page before you decide to collect any specimen.