Bird Study

You can find a list of counselers for this merit badge on the following page: Bird Study Counselor List

Bird Study Merit Badge Patch
Explain the need for bird study and why birds are useful indicators of thequality of the environment. Describe how birds are part of the ecosystem.
Show that you are familiar with the terms used to describe birds by sketchingor tracing a perched bird and then labeling 15 different parts of the bird.Sketch or trace an extended wing and label six types of wing feathers.
Demonstrate that you know how to properly use and care for binoculars, aspotting scope, or a monocular.
Explain what the specification numbers mean on binoculars, a spottingscope, or a monocular.
Show how to adjust the eyepiece and how to focus for proper viewing.
Show how to properly care for and clean the lenses.
Describe when and where each type of viewing device would bemost effective.
Demonstrate that you know how to use a bird field guide. Show your counselorthat you are able to understand a range map by locating in the book andpointing out the wintering range, the breeding range, and/or the year-roundrange of one species of each of the following types of birds:
falcon or hawk
warbler or vireo
heron or egret
nonnative bird (introduced to North America from a foreign country since 1800)
Observe and be able to identify at least 20 species of wild birds. Prepare a field notebook, making a separate entry for each species, and record the following information from your field observations and other references.
  1. Note the date and time.
  2. Note the location and habitat.
  3. Describe the bird’s main feeding habitat and list two types of food that the bird is likely to eat.
  4. Note whether the bird is a migrant or a summer, winter, or year-round resident of your area.
Describe to your counselor how certain orders of birds are uniquely adaptedto a specific habitat. In your description, include characteristics such as thesize and shape of the following:
  1. Beak
  2. Body
  3. Leg and foot
  4. Feathers/plumage
Explain the function of a bird’s song. Be able to identify five of the 20 speciesin your field notebook by song or call alone. For each of these five species, entera description of the song or call, and note the behavior of the bird making thesound. Note why you think the bird was making the call or song that you heard.
Do ONE of the following:
Go on a field trip with a local club or with others who are knowledgeable about birds in your area.
Keep a list or fill out a checklist of all the birds your group observed during the field trip.
Tell your counselor which birds your group saw and why some species were common and some were present in small numbers.
Tell your counselor what makes the area you visited good for finding birds.
By using a public library, the Internet, or contacting the National Audubon Society, find the name and location of the Christmas Bird Count nearest your home and obtain the results of a recent count.
Explain what kinds of information are collected during the annual event.
Tell your counselor which species are most common, and explain why these birds are abundant.
Tell your counselor which species are uncommon, and explain why these were present in small numbers. If the number of birds of these species is decreasing, explain why, and what, if anything, could be done to reverse their decline.
Do ONE of the following. For the option you choose, describe what birds you hope to attract, and why.
Build a bird feeder and put it in an appropriate place in your yard or another location.
Build a birdbath and put it in an appropriate place.
Build a backyard sanctuary for birds by planting trees and shrubs for food and cover.
Do the following:
Explain the differences between extinct, endangered, and threatened.
Identify a bird species that is on the endangered or threatened list. Explainwhat caused their decline. Discuss with your counselor what can be done toreverse this trend and what can be done to help remove the species from theendangered or threatened list.
Identify three career opportunities connected to the study of birds. Pick oneand find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession.Discuss with your counselor if this profession might interest you.

Current requirements are available at Bird Study Merit Badge Requirements

Eagle RequirementNo
CategoryNatural Science
Requirements Date2019
Current Pamphlet Number35865
Current Pamphlet SKU35865
Current Pamphlet Copyright Date2017
Additional Formats
BSA Requirement Date2017
BSA Requirement PDFBird Study Merit Badge Requirements