Birds of a Feather – Background

In the fashion world of birds, anything goes. From crimson cardinals to loons in elegant black and white, from portly turkeys with rusty fan-tails to sky-diving falcons in steely gray, birds carry it off with panache. The diversity of birds is amazing, with 10,000 species worldwide living in habitats as different as tropical jungles and frozen tundra, and ranging in size from the tiniest hummingbirds to condors with ten-foot wingspans. Birds’ fashions may seem exotic, but they are also functional, adaptations for each bird’s particular environment and way of life. Continue reading Birds of a Feather – Background

Birds of a Feather – Activities

FOCUS: All birds share a similar body plan with two legs, beaks, wings, light-weight bones, and feathers. Unique to birds, feathers are an extremely versatile body covering. They provide warm, light-weight insulation, a streamlined shape, colors and patterns for hiding or attracting a mate, and of course they are essential for flight. Birds live in a variety of different habitats, eating a wide range of foods. Each species’ beak, feet, shape, color, and behavior are adapted to meet its particular needs.

NOTE: It is illegal to possess feathers or other parts of birds without having the required state and federal permits.

Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about bird bodies.

Give small groups of children a variety of feathers to examine, one per child if it is windy, and ask them to discuss what they notice and wonder about them.

Materials: a variety of feathers (obtained from a licensed owner or craft supply store) – one per child, magnifying lenses.

Objective: To observe different kinds of feathers, considering their different functions.

Give each child a feather. Ask the children to sort themselves into groups with similar feathers. They might sort themselves by color, pattern, size, or another characteristic. Continue reading Birds of a Feather – Activities

Birds of a Feather – Puppet Show

Fine Feathers Fashion Revue


Characters: Blue Jay, Harriet Hare, Wendy Woodcock, Mr. Cardinal, Mr. Mallard Duck.

Props: Loony-bird costume.

Blue Jay Welcome one and all to the

Fine Feathers Fashion Revue!

Hare  What’s a revue?

Blue Jay It’s a show with lots of different performers showing what they can do. Continue reading Birds of a Feather – Puppet Show

Birds of a Feather – 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 Birds of a Feather – Standards