Birds are everywhere! Learn about some of our neighborhood birds and the techniques used to study them from a migratory bird scientist.

This virtual school program is part of Conservation Classroom, a collection of monthly lessons for K-5 students. This program reaches 2-6 students a little better, but we've had all ages enjoy it. Each lesson has four elements: wonder (video), engage (live virtual program), act (activities), and connect (video). Follow along with all four parts or pick and choose the videos and activities you want to explore. 




Supports NGSS 2-PS1-2, 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1, 3-LS1-1, 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-3, 4-LS1-1, 5-LS2-1, MS-LS1-4, MS-LS1-5, MS-LS2-A


birds, migration, observation, tracking, bird banding

Crosscutting Concepts:

Patterns, Cause and Effect, Interdependence of science, engineering, and technology




I wonder... how do scientists study birds? Come along to discover how scientists study birds with banding and tracking tools. 


Me pregunto: ¿qué es la migración? Explore el Zoológico Nacional y el Instituto Smithsonian de Biología de la Conservación para responder esta pregunta, siga a dos aves migratorias y descubra por qué se embarcan en estos viajes.


In this free, live virtual program, students learned about neighborhood birds and techniques used to study them, such as bird banding, from a migratory bird ecologist. Program is hosted in Zoom webinar. Access the recording to enjoy the program that aired on May 22, 2024. Recording includes English captions, as well as Spanish and ASL interpretation. 


During the live program, take scientific notes as we measure and weigh birds. After the program, take your bird journal outside and make observations. You can also watch Learn to Draw a Bird and draw your own bird. Share your drawings with us at

Hojas de actividades disponibles en español: Registro de aves. Comparta sus dibujos con nosotros en


Meet Nathan, a research ecologist and migratory bird scientist! As part of his "unZOOsual" career, Nathan study birds as they travel between their summer and winter homes to learn how to save them.

For Educators

Educator's Materials

Conservation Classroom: Exploring Neighborhood Birds i­­s best suited for grades 2-6. The full lesson consists of two videos, a live program, and two activities. Refer to the Smithsonian Learning Lab collection to help teach this lesson.

Letter to Guardians

After participating in the live program, print or send the following letter to guardians, explaining what their student learned in this lesson and how they can continue to engage from home.

Carta para el tutor

Después de participar en el programa en vivo, imprima o envíe la siguiente carta a los tutores, explicando lo que su estudiante aprendió en esta lección y cómo pueden continuar participando desde casa.

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