Project Ideas | Bramble Park Zoo - Watertown, SD

Project Ideas

Family/Community Club Projects

  • Discuss among your group and set a goal for how many birds to identify in a year. Do some research and select some local birding spots to visit.
  • Put together a display on habitat issues, and how they affect different bird species. Take it to a local festival for Earth Day or ask if you can display it at the local library.
  • Construct bird feeders of various shapes and kinds. Set them up around your house and see which ones the birds prefer!

Early Childhood Projects

  • Collect empty toilet paper rolls, pinecones or old stale bagels (cut in half). Have the kids make a loop with yarn or string to hang the bagel/roll. Then let them slather it with peanut butter and sprinkle it with bird seed. They can each take home their project to hang in a tree near their house. Visit with them on the topic. Do the birds eat the peanut butter? Do the squirrels eat the peanut butter? Who eats the seeds? Are all the birds the same size? Which birds seem to eat more of the food?
  • Bring in pictures from magazines, talk with the children about each photo. What color are the feathers? What kind of beak does the bird have? What do you think it eats?

Elementary School Projects

  • Have students build a simple bird feeder out of a milk container, coffee can, pinecone, or stale bagel
  • Have students write a report on a favorite bird species and make a finger puppet (see Arts & Crafts link)
  • Read a story to the children about an imaginary bird. Have them draw the bird as they think it looks.
  • Have students build a bird diorama showing the habitat of the imaginary bird
  • Visit a raptor rehabilitation center and learn more about diurnal and nocturnal raptors.
  • Do Ecoteam lessons #5 and #6. Find out Why the Barbeque was boring (Hint: birds are the major pollinators for many plant species).

Middle School Projects

  • Have youth collect bird feathers(?) Examine them under the microscope and draw what they see.
  • Order owl pellets from a biological supply company and have youth dissect the pellets. What are the pellets? What can they tell you about the owl’s diet and local habitat?
  • Collect photos of birds from magazines and have youth sort the photos into the different orders of birds (you will need a few guide books). Have the youth study each group of photos and then create montages on poster board.
  • Have youth read stories about birds. Place them in groups, have each group develop a short play about their bird species incorporating some information about the species biology and habitat into the play (they may write or perform the play).
  • Have youth do research on the different kinds of bird feeders and bird houses for class. Contact your local wildlife agencies and find out where bird houses are needed. Have students construct bird houses according to specification.

High School Projects

  • Contact local wildlife resource agencies and help out with building nesting boxes. Become involved in a mist netting project.
  • Have students complete a bird research assignment while the class is studying animal diversity. Have them draw diagrams of bird skeletons, lungs and feather barbules, and explain why these structures are so anatomically important to flight. Collect video of students explaining their project.
  • Research birds and cultures around the world. Develop a website to share research.
  • Have students observe and identify birds around their home for a week.
  • Have students put together an educational display on the danger of stray cats to native bird populations (tie this in with why it is important to take good care of your pets and to take lost animals to the humane society). Call the local humane society and ask if they can visit your class. Take your display to the humane society for them to use.