Make Breakfast for Birds
In this science activity, kids will learn to make food for birds and observe them like an ornithologist!
An ornithologist is a scientist who studies birds. These scientists can work anywhere from a lab to a university, wildlife refuge or zoo. Many ornithologists are also ecologists, wildlife biologists, teachers, or researchers. Ornithologists study many things about birds, including changes in bird populations, how the parts of a bird work together for flight, how birds find food, and how you can protect birds.
Birds don't have teeth, so they swallow most of their food whole and let their bodies do the digesting. Most birds have stomachs with two parts -- the first part has acids that help break down the food, the second is the gizzard, which has powerful muscles that grind up the food. The gizzard needs grit to work effectively -- that's why you will add sand to your bird food breakfast!
- This food is for birds only; no human nibbling, please!
- Be sure to check the cereal ingredients and match with any potential allergies kids may have.
- Grape-Nuts cereal - 1/4 cup per student
- Raisin Bran cereal - 1/4 cup per student
- Puffed Wheat cereal - 1/4 cup per student
- Clean sand - 1/4 cup per student
- Ziploc bags - 1 per student
Use the measuring cups to scoop out and measure 1/4 cup of each cereal and the sand to put into the ziploc bags.
Secure the tops of the bags and shake the ingredients.
Pour the food onto a disposable plate or directly on the ground for the birds to eat!
Make a game out of counting how many different types of birds you see. Can you identify any of them? Does your bird food seem to attract a particular type of bird? Do the birds arrive in pairs or flocks? Do some birds seem more dominant than others?