Learn to identify bird behaviors as you observe birds.
What You Need
- Bird Behavior Worksheet (optional)
- Camera (Optional)
- Sketchpad (Optional)
What You do
- Prepare a bird behavior checklist.
Learn to define bird behavior so you will recognize it when you see it.
- Hiding: using camouflage or cover to protect themselves from predators
- Flocking: creating large groups to fly or feed, creating safety in numbers
- Bathing: washing in water, or sometimes, giving themselves a dirt bath
- Flying: using their wings or air currants to travel through the air
- Preening: cleaning their feathers using their beak or feet
- Singing: communicating using calls and songs
Giving an alarm call: hard to distinguish from a song, but usually shorter and simpler than songs.
- Foraging: searching for food on the ground, in bark, in water, etc. Food could include seeds, fruits, fish, even small mammals and reptiles!
- Feeding: actually eating the food they find
You can print out this helpful bird behavior activity worksheet to help remember the behaviors.
In this worksheet, you can track how many times a bird does a behavior. You could discuss with others why some behaviors seem to be more common than others.
- Think about where birds flock in your community.
Head outside to a park or a tree-lined street, where birds of different species can be observed.
If there is a pond or lake in your community, you could go there to see water birds.
In cities, birds like pigeons tend to congregate in places where they might scavenge for food, such as near restaurants.
- Join a local bird watching group for support.
Our Nature Find (broken link) website allows you to search for local bird watching events.
Each year in December, there are annual bird counting events at many nature centers, and they will often provide training in bird identification.
If you live in a city, Project Pigeonwatch is a fun option.
- Photograph or sketch behaviors.
Birds are such beautiful creatures. If you sit quietly to sketch or photograph them, they might even come closer to you!