Bird Study

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{{Merit Badge header|Basketry|Bugling|Bird-Study}}
{{Infobox_MeritBadge_Green
{{Infobox_MeritBadge_Green
|name= Bird Study
|name= Bird Study
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|created= 1914
|created= 1914
|discontinued= N/A
|discontinued= N/A
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|requirements revision= 2006
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|requirements revision= 2019
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|pamphlet revision= 2008
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|pamphlet revision= 2013
|field= Natural Science
|field= Natural Science
|id= 029
|id= 029
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|quote=Birds are among the most fascinating creatures on Earth. Many are beautifully colored. Others are accomplished singers. Many of the most important discoveries about birds and how they live have been made by amateur birders. In pursuing this hobby, a Scout might someday make a valuable contribution to our understanding of the natural world.
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== Notes ==
== Notes ==
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{{Merit Badge Notes|Bird-Study}}
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# This badge is one of the elective merit badges of the [[William T. Hornaday Awards (Boy Scouting)|William T. Hornaday Awards for Boy Scouts]].
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{{STEM Nova award merit badge|[[Dr. Bernard Harris Bronze Supernova Award|Harris Bronze Supernova]], and [[Thomas Edison Silver Supernova Award|Edison Silver Supernova]]|s}}
# This is a great badge to do in February, in conjunction with the [http://www.birdcount.org Great Backyard Bird Count].
# This is a great badge to do in February, in conjunction with the [http://www.birdcount.org Great Backyard Bird Count].
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# {{Hornaday Merit Badge}}
== Requirement resources ==
== Requirement resources ==
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*'''2''': [http://www.wildbirds.com/dnn/IdentifyBirds/BirdIdentification/tabid/119/Default.aspx Bird Identification] Parts of a bird diagrams
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:'''1'''. [http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761552516_6/Bird.html#s46 Birds as indicators of the quality of the environment]<br>
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*'''3''': [http://www.outdooreyes.com/takecarebinoculars.php3 How to Care for Binoculars]
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:'''2'''. [http://www.wildbirds.com/dnn/IdentifyBirds/BirdIdentification/tabid/119/Default.aspx Bird diagrams] - [http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Birds/MMMN/English/glossary_data.html More] - [http://www.birdsource.org BirdSource]<br>
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*'''3b''': [http://www.outdoorlife.com/outdoor/gear/article/0,19912,706732,00.html How to Adjust Binoculars]
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:'''3. Lesson Videos''': [http://www.expertvillage.com/video-series/6769_bird-watching-binoculars-field-guides.htm Bird Watching Binoculars & Field Guides] - [http://www.expertvillage.com/video/115475_about-bird-watching-binoculars.htm About Bird Watching Binoculars]<br> [http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761556559/Binoculars.html#461533544 Binoculars] - [http://www.outdooreyes.com/takecarebinoculars.php3 How to Care for Binoculars] - [http://www.outdoorlife.com/outdoor/gear/article/0,19912,706732,00.html How to Adjust Binoculars]<br>
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*'''4''': [http://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/site/youngbirders/field_guide.aspx How to Use a Field Guide] This is from Young Birders, an excellent overall site for the budding birdwatcher.
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:'''4. & 5. Lesson Videos''': [http://www.expertvillage.com/video-series/1201_birdwatching.htm Birdwatching for Beginners] - [http://www.expertvillage.com/video-series/1216_birding-equipment.htm Get Started with Bird Watching] - [http://www.expertvillage.com/video-series/1227_birding-by-sight.htm Bird Identification]<br>
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*'''6''': [http://www.learnbirdsongs.com/ Learn Bird Songs]
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:'''4. & 5'''. [http://www.enature.com/FIELDGUIDES/intermediate.asp?curGroupID=1 Online bird field guide] - [http://www.birdfieldguide.com/ Another] - [http://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/site/youngbirders/field_guide.aspx How to Use a Field Guide] - [http://www.backyardbird.com/rangemaps1.html 72 Range Maps] - [http://www.birds.cornell.edu Cornell Ornithology] - [http://www.abcbirds.org American Bird Conservancy]<br>
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*'''6''': [http://www.naturesongs.com/birds.html North American Bird Sounds]
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:'''5.''' The Field Notebook you will need is included in the workbook (<span class=plainlinks>[http://usscouts.org/usscouts/mb/worksheets/Bird-Study.pdf PDF {{PDF}}] or [http://usscouts.org/usscouts/mb/worksheets/Bird-Study.docx Word {{DOC}}]</span>).<br>
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*'''7a''': [http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/ Surfbirds] Find your local birdwatchers and birdwatching clubs.
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:'''6'''. ''Note that you are not required to identify the bird songs in the field, just identify bird songs. But the bird songs you identify MUST be for species that you have included in your field notebook. So if you didn't identify these species by ear in the field, you must have personally observed them in the field.'' <br>
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*'''7b''': [http://www.audubon.org/bird/cbc/ Christmas Bird Count] From the National Audubon Society
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::'''Lesson Videos''': [http://www.expertvillage.com/video-series/1226_birding-by-ear.htm Bird Songs] - [http://www.expertvillage.com/video/18544_birding-by-ear-auditory-ability.htm How to Identify Birds by Ear] - [http://www.expertvillage.com/video/18547_birding-by-ear-song-one.htm How Birds Use Songs & Sounds for Communication] - [http://www.expertvillage.com/video/18552_birding-by-ear-names-one.htm Birds That Say Their Names] - [http://www.expertvillage.com/video/18555_birding-by-ear-phonetic-one.htm Birds That Make Phonetic Sounds & Phrases]
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*'''8''': [http://www.laspilitas.com/garden/howto/howto.html How to Build a Birdbath, Birdhouse, Garden Bench, or Rockwall for Your Garden] Illustrated and easy to follow instructions.
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::'''Audio''': [http://www.learnbirdsongs.com/ Learn Bird Songs] - [http://www.naturesongs.com/birds.html More] - [http://www.enature.com/birding/audio.asp Another site]<br>
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: '''Other links''': [http://www.americanbirding.org American Birding Assn] - [http://magazine.audubon.org Audubon Magazine online]
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:'''8a'''. [http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/ Local Clubs] - [http://www.audubon.org Audubon Society]<br>
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:'''8b'''. [http://www.audubon.org/bird/cbc/ Christmas Bird Count] From the National Audubon Society<br>
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:'''9'''. [http://www.laspilitas.com/garden/howto/howto.html How to Build a Birdbath, Birdhouse, Garden Bench, or Rockwall for Your Garden]<br>
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:'''11'''.
== Related awards ==
== Related awards ==
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;Ecology Awards
 
{{Ecology Awards Links}}
{{Ecology Awards Links}}
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== See also ==
== See also ==
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== External links ==
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*[http://k2gw.tripod.com/onlinebirdstudy/ Online Bird Study Merit Badge site for Boy Scouts]
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* {{current merit badge reqs PDF link|year=2019}}
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*[http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/ Patuxent Wildlife Research Center]
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* {{previous merit badge reqs PDF link|year=2013}}
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*[http://www.birder.com/birding/ Birding on the Web]
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* <span class=plainlinks>[https://draftable.com/compare/FFPReJdirtgT Digital comparison between 2013 and 2019 versions of Bird Study merit badge requirements]</span> &mdash; Draftable.com
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*[http://www.geocities.com/birdstudymb/main/birdstudyfinal.pdf Sample Bird Study MB Flyer]
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* <span class=plainlinks>[http://www.abcbirds.org Amer. Bird Conservancy]</span>
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* <span class=plainlinks>[http://www.americanbirding.org Amer. Birding Association]</span>
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* <span class=plainlinks>[http://www.birdsource.org BirdSource]</span>
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* <span class=plainlinks>[http://k2gw.tripod.com/birdstudy/ Bird Study Merit Badge site for Scouts & Counselors]</span>
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* <span class=plainlinks>[http://www.birds.cornell.edu Cornell Ornithology]</span>
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* <span class=plainlinks>[http://www.audubon.org National Audubon Society]</span>
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* <span class=plainlinks>[http://www.fws.gov U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service]</span>
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* <span class=plainlinks>[http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/ Patuxent Wildlife Research Center]</span>
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* <span class=plainlinks>[http://www.birder.com/birding/ Birding on the Web]</span>
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* <span class=plainlinks>[https://web.archive.org/web/20120713193325/http://www.birdstudymb.com/ How To Organize A Bird Study Merit Badge Day]</span> (archived copy) &mdash; via Archive.org (archive date: July 13, 2012)
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{{Merit Badge footer}}

Current revision

Resources include the Bird Study merit badge worksheet in PDF format Adobe Acrobat PDF and Word format Microsoft Word DOC document, links, and cross-references to related badges and awards.
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Bird Study merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1914
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 029
Requirements revision: 2019
Latest pamphlet revision: 2013

Contents

Birds are among the most fascinating creatures on Earth. Many are beautifully colored. Others are accomplished singers. Many of the most important discoveries about birds and how they live have been made by amateur birders. In pursuing this hobby, a Scout might someday make a valuable contribution to our understanding of the natural world.


Bird Study merit badge requirements

  1. Explain the need for bird study and why birds are useful indicators of the quality of the environment. Describe how birds are part of the ecosystem.
  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.
  3. Demonstrate that you know how to properly use and care for binoculars, a spotting scope, or a monocular.
    a. Explain what the specification numbers mean on binoculars, a spotting scope, or a monocular.
    b. Show how to adjust the eyepiece and how to focus for proper viewing.
    c. Show how to properly care for and clean the lenses.
    d. Describe when and where each type of viewing device would be most effective.
  4. Demonstrate that you know how to use a bird field guide. Show your counselor that you are able to understand a range map by locating in the book and pointing out the wintering range, the breeding range, and/or the year-round range of one species of each of the following types of birds:
    a. Seabird
    b. Plover
    c. Falcon or hawk
    d. Warbler or vireo
    e. Heron or egret
    f. Sparrow
    g. Nonnative bird (introduced to North America from a foreign country since 1800)
  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.
  6. Describe to your counselor how certain orders of birds are uniquely adapted to a specific habitat. In your description, include characteristics such as the size and shape of the following:
    a. Beak
    b. Body
    c. Leg and foot
    d. Feathers/plumage
  7. Explain the function of a bird's song. Be able to identify five of the 20 species in your field notebook by song or call alone. For each of these five species enter a description of the song or call, and note the behavior of the bird making the sound. Note why you think the bird was making the call or song that you heard.
  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.
  9. Do ONE of the following. For the option you choose, describe what birds you hope to attract, and why.
    a. Build a bird feeder and put it in an appropriate place in your yard or another location.
    b. Build a birdbath and put it in an appropriate place.
    c. Build a backyard sanctuary for birds by planting trees and shrubs for food and cover.
  10. Do the following:
    a. Explain the differences between extinct, endangered, and threatened.
    b. Identify a bird species that is on the endangered or threatened list. Explain what caused their decline. Discuss with your counselor what can be done to reverse this trend and what can be done to help remove the species from the endangered or threatened list.
  11. Identify three career opportunities connected to the study of birds. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss with your counselor if this profession might interest you.


The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Scouts BSA Requirements, 2019 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #648914)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
by an administrator.
Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.

Notes

Worksheet A FREE workbook for Bird Study is available here! (PDF or Word) with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need! Or click here to print just the Bird Study requirements. usscouts.org has PDF and Word versions of workbooks for Scouts BSA ranks and merit badges, Cub Scouting ranks and adventures, and STEM Nova awards.

The Bird Study merit badge is an option for the Harris Bronze Supernova, and Edison Silver Supernova STEM Nova Awards.
  1. This is a great badge to do in February, in conjunction with the Great Backyard Bird Count.
  2. Bird Study is one of the elective merit badges for the William T. Hornaday awards for Scouts BSA.

Requirement resources

1. Birds as indicators of the quality of the environment
2. Bird diagrams - More - BirdSource
3. Lesson Videos: Bird Watching Binoculars & Field Guides - About Bird Watching Binoculars
Binoculars - How to Care for Binoculars - How to Adjust Binoculars
4. & 5. Lesson Videos: Birdwatching for Beginners - Get Started with Bird Watching - Bird Identification
4. & 5. Online bird field guide - Another - How to Use a Field Guide - 72 Range Maps - Cornell Ornithology - American Bird Conservancy
5. The Field Notebook you will need is included in the workbook (PDF Adobe Acrobat PDF or Word Microsoft Word DOC document).
6. Note that you are not required to identify the bird songs in the field, just identify bird songs. But the bird songs you identify MUST be for species that you have included in your field notebook. So if you didn't identify these species by ear in the field, you must have personally observed them in the field.
Lesson Videos: Bird Songs - How to Identify Birds by Ear - How Birds Use Songs & Sounds for Communication - Birds That Say Their Names - Birds That Make Phonetic Sounds & Phrases
Audio: Learn Bird Songs - More - Another site
Other links: American Birding Assn - Audubon Magazine online
8a. Local Clubs - Audubon Society
8b. Christmas Bird Count From the National Audubon Society
9. How to Build a Birdbath, Birdhouse, Garden Bench, or Rockwall for Your Garden
10.
11.

Related awards

Ecology-related awards

See also

Scouts BSA portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links


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