ACTIVITY 1:ANATOMICAL STRUCTURE OF BIRDS
Discuss different types of birds with the students. What birds have they seen in their neighborhoods? In the school yard? At the beach? Ask students to describe the most beautiful bird they have ever seen; the most interesting behaviors they have observed; the bird songs they have heard. Ask students to mimic bird songs.
Using the diagram at the end of this activity, discuss the anatomy of a bird and how each part is distinct in each species and must be understood in order to be able to recognize the bird. Use the diagram to identify:
(a)Beak or Bill (the upper and lower mandible)
(c)Crown (top of the head)
(e)Nape (back of the neck)
Compare and contrast similarities/differences to humananatomy. Ask students to identify functions of each bird "part." Be sure to emphasize parts used for multiple functions, i.e., wings are used for flight and for covering
things up (like young in the nest or a recently caught meal); the tail is used as a rudder for steering and also to stabilize the bird; the beak is used to capture food and to eat food; the feet are used for walking and to grasp or cling.
Birds can be categorized into about eight groups:
(1)Swimming birds (ducks, geese, loons, etc.)
(2)Aerial divers (pelicans, gulls, terns, skimmers, etc.)
(3)Wading birds (egrets, herons, ibises, etc.)
(4)Shorebirds (plovers, willets, etc.)
(5)Chicken-like birds (grouse, quail, turkey, etc.)
(6)Birds of prey (eagles, falcons, hawks, owls, etc.)