Requirements at Lichterman Nature Center Event
The majority of the requirements for the Bird Study merit badge were completed at the 2022 Lichterman Nature Center event held on January 23, 2022. I am capturing the activities here to document the work.
Explain the need for bird study and why birds are useful indicators of the quality of the environment.
Studying birds can be fun! They are found almost everywhere from cities to forest, farms and even at sea. Birds are intriguing. Most but not all can fly, they can be colorful like the Painted Bunting or camouflage like the American Bittern, and they can teach us a lot about our environment.
Birds are useful indicators of the quality of an environment. They can tell us about the weather, habitat changes, and pollution. For more information about birds as environmental indicators lookup the Bald Eagle and the chemical DDT.
Scientist who study birds are known as ornithologist, and through the study of birds they have been able to save endangered species like the Whooping Crane and California Condor. More and more ornithologists are relying on citizen scientists to help study birds. Citizen scientists can take part in bird surveys like Project Feeder Watch (February), Nest Watch (Spring & Summer) and the Christmas Bird Count (December).
Describe how birds are part of the ecosystem.
We encounter birds everyday, not only flying outside but we keep them as pets, eat them for dinner, and read about them in mythology. We use birds as symbols for our country, military, on our money, and even as the highest scouting honor!
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 types of wing feathers.
Demonstrate that you know how to properly use and care for binoculars, a spotting scope, or a monocular.
Demonstrate that you know how to use a bird field guide.
Observe and be able to identify at least 20 species of wild birds.
The bird observation occurred within the Lichterman Nature Center grounds on 01/22/2022 between 9 am and noon. The conditions were very cold with the temperature at 30 degrees F. We were led by the park's resident Backyard Wildlife Curator, Mrs. Mary Schmidt.
All bird sightings were in the Lichterman Nature Center within the wooded areas and the area around the lake.
Below is the field checklist we used to identify the birds.
Be able to identify five of the 20 species in your field notebook by song or call
Build a bird feeder