“Life in a Nest” Links and Resources
Life in a Nest is four activities that help educators engage students in learning through the Cornell Lab’s streaming Bird Cams. Here, we present the links that will help you get the most from these lessons.
Don’t yet have the lessons?
- Get Life in a Nest as a free download.
Would you like training on these resources?
- View an archived webinar discussing Bird Cams and the Life in a Nest activities.
- Discover our streaming Bird Cams, featuring a variety of nesting bird species. Choose one or more species to view with your students.
- Learn how the Great Horned Owl cam enriched a third grade classroom in Savannah, GA.
- Visit the All About Birds online field guide.
- Make every day Earth Day with bird friendly actions. Share your actions through the month of April.
- Feathered Friends activities, engaging science lessons brought to you by our friends at Pennington Wild Birds and your local birds!
- Get the free Investigating Evidence download to help you create and use an “I Wonder” Board to track student questions and scaffold schoolyard investigations.
- Take our new self-paced course, Integrating Inquiry for Educators: Developing Student Science Practices, which is designed to help educators explore the process of inquiry and scientific investigation, especially as inspired by outdoor observations and citizen-science participation.
Introducing Nesting Birds (Activity 1)
- Visit the All About Birds FAQ page which will answer many common questions about birds (includes a section on baby birds).
- Our Nature Detectives curriculum will help you go further with fun resources like Habitat Scavenger Hunt and Bird Bingo cards.
From Nestling to Fledgling (Activity 2)
- This helpful table has nesting information (incubation and fledging time) for many common species.
- All About Birds has great photos to help you identify common nests and eggs.
- NestWatch is a citizen-science project that also provides a wealth of information about nesting birds (including nest box construction plans).
Create a Field Guide to Local Birds (Activity 3)
You can query a list of common birds in your area via eBird, or use these lists of suggested species that commonly nest near or on schoolyards…
Common Birds–Eastern US
|American Crow||Downy Woodpecker||House Wren||Red-winged Blackbird|
|American Robin||Eurasian Collared-Dove||Killdeer||Rock Pigeon|
|Barn Swallow||European Starling||Mourning Dove||Ruby-throated Hummingbird|
|Blue Jay||Great Blue Heron||Northern Cardinal||Song Sparrow|
|Canada Goose||House Finch||Northern Mockingbird||White-breasted Nuthatch|
|Brown-headed Cowbird||House Sparrow||Red-tailed Hawk||White-throated Sparrow|
Common Birds–Western US
|American Crow||Dark-eyed Junco||House Wren||Red-tailed Hawk|
|American Robin||Downy Woodpecker||Killdeer||Red-winged Blackbird|
|Anna’s Hummingbird||Eurasian Collared-Dove||Mallard||Song Sparrow|
|Barn Swallow||Great Blue Heron||Mourning Dove||Steller’s Jay|
|Black-billed Magpie||House Finch||Northern Flicker||Western Tanager|
|Canada Goose||House Sparrow||Northern Mockingbird||White-breasted Nuthatch|
Consider purchasing the Bird ID Cards in our store. These cards are a great resource for bird ID and contain information on 38 common North American birds species.
Click on the images to learn about and hear these common species:
Check out the eBird database and get involved with citizen science. You can also either purchase our Most Wanted Birds curriculum or us our Using eBird with Students blog to help you use this wonderful citizen-science project.
Investigating our Habitat (Activity 4)
YardMap is a citizen-science project and a tool that can help you and your students understand and map habitat.
BirdSleuth’s Habitat Connections curriculum will help you go further, with lessons that meet NGSS and Core Curriculum Standards.
Did you know that you can win a Habitat Heroes grant to help make your schoolyard more bird friendly?