“Life in a Nest” Links and Resources

lessonLife 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?

Would you like training on these resources?




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Key Links

Introducing Nesting Birds (Activity 1)

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 storeThese 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:


Red-winged Blackbird


Blue Jay

Canada Goose (moffitti/maxima)

Canada Goose

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?