How well do you know your local birds?

 
free printable bird silhouette cards kiwi owl pelican crow

Do you recognize all four of these types of birds, just by seeing their silhouettes? If you were given a dozen more, how many do you think you could correctly identify?

Give it a shot:   Download the Bird Silhouette Cards and find out just how bird-literate you are!

 

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How well do you do when you look at realistic pictures of birds in your area? Are you familiar with only 2 or 3 species that may frequent your yard — or is it closer to 20 — or more? How many of those below can you name? Do all 4 in your area look familiar?

free printable american backyard birds cards house sparrows wren nuthatch downy woodpecker
Four common American bird species

 

free printable british bird cards wren nuthatch robin
Four common British bird species

 

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Nature, Writing, and Performing Arts
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List as many bird species as you can. Don’t forget those that live by or in water, forest, desert, and field. Remember the night-hunters and aerial acrobats as well.
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Describe the differences and similarities between at least 2 species of birds you listed. Touch on their appearance, diet, habitat, and behavior.
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Demonstrate the different ways birds walk and move. Approximate their calls and songs on a keyboard or with your favorite musical instrument.
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Nature & Social Fun
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Print out either the American Bird Cards or British Bird Cards, depending on your location. Look at just the first 3 pages — the 18 bird cards — and count how many you have seen before. How many of those can you name? Now, peek at the names on the last 2 pages. Are there any surprises?
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Show any set(s) of the cards to your friends and/or family members. Take a little survey to find out who is the most “bird literate” in the group. If there are children present, engage them in some brain-exercising games:

  • 1) Sort the birds by color, size, diet, habitat, or some other characteristic.
  • 2) Lay out a few cards at a time and read off one name from the “cheat sheet” pages. Who is the best at guessing which bird goes with each name?
  • 3) Have children sketch and color any of the birds from the cards — or ones they’ve seen that may not be on any of the cards.
  • 4) Play “bird charades” by acting out bird motions or mimicking their calls and songs.

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Nature & Photography
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Go out into your favorite forest, field, or natural area — or just walk down your city street. Take pictures of as many bird species as you can, but do not worry if they are difficult to see. Spend a little time listening, focusing on where bird sounds come from. If you cannot find the bird itself, take a picture of the spot you think it is in. This is its microhabitat. Try to imagine what the bird does in this place. Does it only come here to sing, to gain a vantage point to see and warn away intruders? If it eats here, what do you think it consumes, and how? If it sleeps here, what position do you think it takes? Look around and photograph any areas YOU would sleep, eat, or hide — if YOU were a bird for a day.
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