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Birds

Birds are awesome! They sing, dance, fly, run, swim, build, lay eggs, talk and steal.

Meet Steve and find out more about the secret world of birds. 

Science and Technology – Stage 2 

ST2-4LW-S - A student compares features and characteristics of living and non-living things 

ST2-1WS-S - A student questions, plans and conducts scientific investigations, collects and summarises data and communicates using scientific representations 

ST2-2DP-T - A student selects and uses materials, tools and equipment to develop solutions for a need or opportunity 

  • Literacy capabilities 
  • Numeracy capabilities 
  • Critical and Creative Thinking capabilities 
  • Information and Communication Technology capabilities 
  • Personal and Social capabilities 

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: 
https://www.magabala.com/products/mad-magpie 

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: 
https://support.ala.org.au/support/solutions/articles/6000195203-how-to-find-the-species-recorded-in-your-area

The Project Beak website has further reading about bird beaks and feet: 
http://projectbeak.org/ 

Birds in Backyards is a fabulous resource for identifying birds, factsheets and sound recordings: 
https://www.birdsinbackyards.net/ 

Fantastic feathers 

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: 
https://www.questacon.edu.au/outreach/programs/science-circus/videos/oil-and-water 

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:
https://www.birdsinbackyards.net/Build-nest 

For more information about Australian bird eggs, visit the Australian Museum’s website:  
https://australianmuseum.net.au/blog/amri-news/oological-odyssey-the-wonders-of-bird-eggs/ 

For information about ‘Hollows as Homes’: 
https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/hollows-as-homes/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: 
https://www.backyardbuddies.org.au/habitats/habitat-for-small-birds 
https://www.backyardbuddies.org.au/habitats/habitat-for-big-birds  

Cornell University’s Bird Song Hero involves visualisations of bird song to match with the correct sound: 
https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/features/bird-song-hero/bird-song-hero-tutorial 

They also have a range of other games about birds, but be aware that they are mostly targeted at older students: 
https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/learning-games/