Right now, in our very own backyards, an amazing annual event is taking place. Birds are currently traveling from their winter residences all the way to their summer homes! This is called migration.
Your challenge today is to find as many different species of birds as possible and to figure out how they got here!
As it is currently the height of migration season, we have an incredibly diverse population here with us. Some birds might be full-time residents, but others are just passing through. Take a look outside and see what you can find!
Once you’ve found a bird, go to Cornell’s All About Birds site to be guided through identifying it.
It may take patience to see birds outside your home. If you can’t get a good look at a bird at home, try these livestreamed bird feeders:
- This live footage of a bird feeder in Ithaca, NY has similar birds as Ohio.
- This one in Fort Davis, TX is farther away. Do you see any birds that are the same as here? Any birds that don’t live here?
What to look for:
When trying to identify birds, there are a few characteristics that can be incredibly helpful:
- Feather colors
- Beak color
- Wing shape
- Beak Shape
- Tail Shape
- Where you saw it
Make note of these things before you go look up your bird! For a deeper look at how to identify birds, click through this presentation from Cornell (hit “present” mode for best experience).
Species you might see:
These are all species we see in southeast Ohio in April! When you look at these photos, think about the “what to look for” list above. What colors, shapes, sizes, and habitats do you see in the pictures?
Do you remember what any of these birds nests look like from Joe’s lesson?
There are a ton of bird species that migrate every year, but some birds migrate astonishing distances! Click on the name of each species to learn more about their epic journeys.
Why might a bird have to travel so far?
Your mission today:
- Find as many different bird species as you can around your home.
- Do your best to identify them with help from All About Birds.
- Pick one or two of the birds you found, and learn more about them. Try find out:
Tell us about the birds you found, or share your Bird Road Trip in the comments!