Below is a series of web resources for further reading on each topic.
What makes a bird a bird?
Award-winning picture books about birds to introduce the unit:
- Emu – Claire Saxby and Graham Byrne
- The Rainbird – David Metzenthen and Sally Rippen
- The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay – Narelle Oliver
- Home – Narelle Oliver
- The Morality Tales series by Indigenous author Gregg Deise
- Silly Birds \ Mad Magpies
- Kookoo Kookaburra (great for lessons about bullying and has also won Speech Pathology awards.)
Check out the publisher’s website for links to teacher’s notes about the series:
The Atlas of Living Australia has a ‘how-to’ guide to using their database to find the bird species recorded in your school’s area:
The Project Beak website has further reading about bird beaks and feet:
Birds in Backyards is a fabulous resource for identifying birds, factsheets and sound recordings:
If you are interested in exploring the properties of oil and water with your students to help them understand why oil on feathers works to waterproof them, check out the Questacon experiment:
Nests, eggs and life cycles
Birdlife Australia have a nest experiment to investigate what nest predators are present in urban environments. This can also be used to explore where the safest place to build a nest might be. You can find the instructions in a pdf on their website:
For more information about Australian bird eggs, visit the Australian Museum’s website:
For information about ‘Hollows as Homes’:
What on earth is that bird doing?
Backyard Buddies, an education initiative from the Foundation of National Parks and Wildlife, has some great tips and information about creating bird habitat:
Cornell University’s Bird Song Hero involves visualisations of bird song to match with the correct sound:
They also have a range of other games about birds, but be aware that they are mostly targeted at older students: