Bird Study

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*[ Patuxent Wildlife Research Center]
*[ Patuxent Wildlife Research Center]
*[ Birding on the Web]
*[ Birding on the Web]
*[ Sample Bird Study MB Flyer]
[[Category:Boy Scouts]] [[Category:Merit Badges]]
[[Category:Boy Scouts]] [[Category:Merit Badges]]

Revision as of 23:22, April 21, 2008

Bird Study merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1914
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID:
Requirements revision: 2006
Latest pamphlet revision: 2005


[[Category:{{{field}}} merit badges]]

Merit badge requirements

1. Explain the need for bird study and why birds are useful indicators of the quality of the environment.
2. Show that you are familiar with the terms used to describe birds by sketching or tracing a perched bird and then labeling 15 different parts of the bird. Sketch or trace an extended wing and label types of wing feathers.
3. Demonstrate that you know how to properly use and care for binoculars.
a. Explain what the specification numbers on the binoculars mean.
b. Show how to adjust the eyepiece and how to focus for proper viewing.
c. Show how to properly care for and clean the lenses.
4. Demonstrate that you know how to use a bird field guide. Show your counselor that you are able to understand a range map by locating in the book and pointing out the wintering range, the breeding range, and/or the year-round range of one species of each of the following types of birds:
a. Seabird
b. Plover
c. Falcon or hawk
d. Warbler or vireo
e. Heron or egret
f. Sparrow
g. Nonnative bird (introduced to North America from a foreign country since 1800)
5. 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.
a. Note the date and time.
b. Note the location and habitat.
c. Describe the bird's main feeding habitat and list two types of food that the bird is likely to eat.
d. Note whether the bird is a migrant or a summer, winter, or year-round resident of your area.
6. Explain the function of a bird's song. Be able to identify five of the 20 species in your field notebook by song or call alone. For each of these five species enter a description of the song or call, and note the behavior of the bird making the sound. Note why you think the bird was making the call or song that you heard.
7. Do ONE of the following:
a. Go on a field trip with a local club or with others who are knowledgeable about birds in your area.
1. Keep a list or fill out a checklist of all the birds your group observed during the field trip.
2. Tell your counselor which birds your group saw and why some species were common and some were present in small numbers.
3. Tell your counselor what makes the area you visited good for finding birds.
b. By using a public library 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.
1. Explain what kinds of information are collected during the annual event.
2. Tell your counselor which species are most common, and explain why these birds are abundant.
3. 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.
8. Do ONE of the following. For the option you choose, describe what birds you hope to attract, and why.
a. Build a bird feeder and put it in an appropriate place in your yard or another location.
b. Build a birdbath and put it in an appropriate place.
c. Build a backyard sanctuary for birds by planting trees and shrubs for food and cover.

Source: 2007 Boy Scout Requirements (33215)


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Bird Study is available here! Adobe Acrobat PDF
with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need!
Or click here to print just the Bird Study requirements. has PDF and DOC versions of
Boy Scout merit badge workbooks,
Webelos workbooks, and Cub Scout workbooks.

Per the BSA: You should read the merit badge pamphlet on the subject. Merit badge pamplets are available at your local Scout Shop or online at

1. This badge is one of the elective merit badges of the William T. Hornaday Awards for Boy Scouts.

2. This is a great badge to do in February, in conjunction with the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Help with these requirements

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