Forest Birds – Background

In early spring, forests of the Northeast come alive with birdsong. Before the leaves come out on the trees, the songs of the earliest arrivals echo through the bare woods. The sweet, high notes of the white-throated sparrow, the Morse code tapping of the yellow-bellied sapsucker, the ethereal fluting of the hermit thrush, are among the first to be heard. Every week thereafter, the chorus increases in volume and variety as other birds return to the Atlantic Northern Forest to breed. What makes this region so important for songbirds? Continue reading Forest Birds – Background

Forest Birds – Activities

FOCUS: The Atlantic Northern Forest, with its many layers of vegetation and abundance of insect prey, provides food and nesting grounds for a wide variety of birds. Whether migratory or resident, birds play an important role in the forest for they help to keep insect populations under control. In the spring, forest birds call for mates and set up territories, filling the woods with a chorus of lively birdsong. A pleasure to see and hear, these jewels of the forest are a valuable part of the forest ecosystem.

Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about forest birds.

Circle up in a forested area and spend a few minutes just observing. Ask children what  they notice about different places where birds might live in the forest? Note especially the different forest layers.

Materials: optional: picture(s) of Northern forest habitat, Forest Layer Diagram.

Objective: To model how birds avoid competition by foraging in different layers of the forest.

Ask the children to think about this question: Will a bird get more food if it does most of its feeding in one layer, or if it feeds anywhere in the forest? Explain that they will get to model the two ideas. Continue reading Forest Birds – Activities

Forest Birds – Puppet Show

Characters: Benjy Bear, Squirrel, Caterpillar, Cuckoo, Scarlet Tanager, Sapsucker.

Benjy Bear  Hooey. I’m so full, I can bearly climb this tree.

Squirrel  Yeah, and I’d say you’re one silly bear, but I wouldn’t want to go out on a limb.  So, whatcha doin’ up here, Benjy?

Bear  Oh, I like to see what’s going on in the forest. Up here, I can see into the treetops where the beechnuts grow.

Squirrel  That’s the canopy – can’t top that! Continue reading Forest Birds – Puppet Show

Forest Birds – Standards


The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Forest Birds – Standards