Quests

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Ready to go on a family quest?

Join families around the nation on an exploration adventure. Pick a quest and share it with us on our Facebook group! Chose between outdoor or indoor activities, mix it up! As always, please use your best judgment and follow local recommendations for being outside. Don’t forget to view the activities that inspired these quests!

Featured Quests from Activity 11:

  1. Explore more about bird anatomy at All About Bird Anatomy.
  2. Take a bird feet hike. See if you can find a woodpecker or nuthatch climbing a tree.  Can you see the 2 forward-facing toes and the 2 backward-facing toes, as seen in this photo? Find a perching bird and notice it only has 1 backward-facing toe, as seen in this photo. Did you see any birds with webbed feet, like this duck?
  3. Take your sketchbook outside and sketch a bird. Add some of the inside body parts of a bird to your sketch. Or make a detailed drawing of its beak or feet.
  4. Pick one body system from those shown at All About Bird Anatomy. Use strings, rubber bands, play dough, other household items, or items found in nature and try your hand at making a 3D model of that system.

Outdoor Quests:

  1. See at least 5 different birds on a walk in your neighborhood.
  2. Go outdoors and try not to come in until you hear a bird.
  3. Sit together outdoors as a family and create individual sound maps. Did anyone hear any sounds that no one else noticed? Share your maps with us on our Facebook page!
  4. Take your family outside, listen for bird songs and calls, and try to imitate them. Which family member sounds most like a bird?
  5. Go on a nest search! Look in bushes, trees, and building eaves for nests used last year or this spring’s nests. Please be careful not to disturb nesting birds.
  6. Build a nest that fits your family! Go outside and use natural materials. Take a photo of your family’s nest and share it with our Facebook group.
  7. Baby birds are fed a diet with nutrients that help them grow. Gather ingredients from outside and create a “meal” that would make a baby bird beg for more! Share a picture of your tasty treats with our Facebook group.
  8. Go on a Nature Rainbow hike. Challenge yourself or your family to find all the colors in the rainbow, all in natural items. Which colors are easy to find? Which are more challenging?
  9. Gather “bugs” (dry beans, rice, pennies) and two bowls. Place bugs in one bowl and place the empty “nest” bowl across your house or yard. Take turns pretending you are a bird parent. Who can move the most bugs (moving only one bug at a time) to the hungry babies in the nest in 1 minute?
  10. Go on a bird walk in your neighborhood or a local park. How many birds can you find and identify with the help of the Merlin Bird ID app?
  11. Play Bird Bingo as a family. You can use our Bird Bingo cards or make your own.
  12. Find a “sit spot,” a quiet place to sit outside or by a window to observe birds. Visit your spot at different times of day. How does bird activity change?
  13. Hold a Paper Airplane olympics! Give awards for the plane that flies the farthest, straightest, and craziest!
  14. Set up a family bird migration obstacle course and race each other through the course.
  15. Search your backyard or local park for foods you think a bird might eat, like berries, seeds, and insects. How many different kinds of food can you find?
  16. Go on a bird behavior walk in your neighborhood or a local park. Look for birds foraging, preening, moving in a flock, or hiding from predators.
  17. Go outdoors to use the Seek app to identify plants and animals in your yard. If you can’t go outside, identify any houseplants you have!
  18. Set up a blind or camouflage yourself to try to capture a close-up image of an animal such as a bird or squirrel.
  19. Search your backyard or local park for foods you think a bird might eat, like berries, seeds, and insects. How many different kinds of food can you find?
  20. Design a whole feeder station. Think about adding additional types of feeders to the one you designed, add a water source, and add some plants for birds that provide cover or a place to build a nest.
  21. Play “Guess What” – have each family take turns giving detailed general descriptions of items from nature, while other members of the family guess what it is.
  22. Take your family on a sensory or mini hike. Challenge each other to see who can make the most observations in a minute! 
  23. Encourage your inner scientist and go on a question hike with your family! See how many questions your family can come up with.

Indoor Quests:

  1. Visit the Wall of Birds to find: the falcon, albatross, hummingbird, and owl.
  2. Look at videos of birds on Macaulay Library, and try to act out some bird moves.
  3. Find a bird sound you find weird or surprising on Macaulay Library.
  4. Strut your stuff! Lead your family in a bird-of-paradise dance, a pigeon strut, or an eagle soar.
  5. Find out which birds use nest boxes (also called bird houses) where you live using the Right Bird, Right House Guide from the Lab’s citizen-science project, NestWatch.
  6. Build a nest that fits your family! Stay indoors and use things from around the house such as pillows and blankets. Take a photo of your family’s nest and share it with our Facebook group.
  7. Scroll through NestWatch’s Home Tweet Home photo contest and find the cutest baby, best nest, and most egg-strodinary eggs.
  8. Learn about the features of a good birdhouse. Sketch your ideal birdhouse. How does it keep birds safe?
  9. Baby birds are fed a diet with nutrients that help them grow. Gather ingredients from outside and create a “meal” that would make a baby bird beg for more! Share a picture of your tasty treats with our Facebook group.
  10. Play Bird Pictionary. Take turns drawing birds that live near you (from memory or using the Merlin app or AllAboutBirds.org for photos) and challenge your family members to identify each other’s drawings!
  11. Observe flight patterns online in bird flight videos in the Macaulay Library.
  12. Play Flap to the Future, a free science game. Start as an earthbound dinosaur and explore the stages of flight through modern birds and beyond.
  13. Hold a Paper Airplane olympics! Give awards for the plane that flies the farthest, straightest, and craziest!
  14. Play Bird Behavior Charades. Take turns acting out a bird behavior and challenging your family members to identify it.
  15. Use Project FeederWatch’s Common Feeder Birds interactive to find which birds in your region eat peanuts, black oil sunflower seeds, or suet.
  16. Brainstorm as a family: If you had one month and could go anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why? What would you want to see?
  17. There are many streaming cameras that capture wildlife, zoo, and aquarium animals. Search and find one or more for your family to explore.
  18. Explore beaks more! Research kinds of beaks that interest you and find birds that have those kinds of beaks.
  19. Create a beak mask and have a bird party. Have everyone in your family create a beak mask, then have a party with seeds, nuts, and fruit as the food and do some bird dances.
  20. Check out our video library to observe birds that you probably won’t see at a feeder.
  21. Explore your sense of taste by doing a taste test with salty, sweet, bitter, and sour food. Taste at least one thing with each flavor and talk about which flavors you like best.
  22. Download an issue of our student magazine BirdSleuth Investigator and learn from students who took their observations a step further and researched their questions or created art.

 

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