Merit Badge Workbook Merit Badge History

Bird Study - In-Person Class Notes

Please be courteous and arrive early for registration and instructions PRIOR to your scheduled class start time. Remember that your Scout uniform is required to be worn when attending.

It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event. You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Bird Study Merit Badge Workbook to help organize your preparation work. Please note that the use of any workbook is merely for note taking and reference. Completion of any merit badge workbook does not warrant, guarantee, or confirm a Scout's completion of any merit badge requirements. Merit badge counselors may refuse to accept workbooks, but they are NEVER allowed to require their use.

The merit badge pamphlet has a wealth of information that provides valuable insight and clarification and can make earning any merit badge a lot easier. Doing preparation work and reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending will ensure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities.

If you have any additional questions or need further clarification, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners (Scoutmaster Bucky) via email at scoutmasterbucky@yahoo.com or via cell phone at 612-483-0665.

Things to remember to bring for this merit badge class:

  • Your BSA ID # (not your Scoutbook ID #)
  • If you do not have your BSA ID # (or did not provide it with your online registration) you will need a Merit badge blue card properly filled out and signed off by your Scout Leader
  • Bird Study Merit Badge Pamphlet
  • Scout uniform
  • Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to the Bird Study merit badge, which may also include a merit badge workbook for reference with notes
  • Weather appropriate clothing for the time of year and location of the class for outdoor participation
  • Binoculars (preferred but optional)
  • Scoutmaster Bucky Bird Study Merit Badge Field Notebook print out or a Notebook (preferably pocket sized or slightly larger - for taking of field notes and drawings)
  • A positive Scouting focus and attitude

If you are unfamiliar with the Blue Card Process, please read and understand the Scoutmaster Bucky Blue Card Process.

Bird Study - Online Class Notes

Scoutmaster Bucky Online Class links will be sent out 12 to 24 hours prior to the class start time. Notification will be sent to the email address provided in the registration, so please make sure your email is correctly entered.

Please be courteous and arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled class start time. Ensure that your internet connection, camera, microphone, and broadcasting environment are working and optimal for class participation. Remember that your Scout uniform is required to be worn when attending.

It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event. You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Bird Study Merit Badge Workbook to help organize your preparation work. Please note that the use of any workbook is merely for note taking and reference. Completion of any merit badge workbook does not warrant, guarantee, or confirm a Scout's completion of any merit badge requirements. Merit badge counselors may refuse to accept workbooks, but they are NEVER allowed to require their use.

The merit badge pamphlet has a wealth of information that provides valuable insight and clarification and can make earning any merit badge a lot easier. Doing preparation work and reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending will ensure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities.

If you have any additional questions or need further clarification, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners (Scoutmaster Bucky) via email at scoutmasterbucky@yahoo.com or via cell phone at 612-483-0665.

Bird Study Merit Badge
Current Scouts BSA Requirements
as of January 25, 2023

Please make sure you read the top portion of this page for general participation expectations in a Scoutmaster Bucky merit badge class.

Pay careful attention to the action verbs within the requirements. An example to note:

"Tell", "explain", "describe", and "discuss" are commonly used and will require the Scout to perform these actions during the class. When these action verbs are a part of any requirement, Scouts are expected to be prepared to share. Reading responses is not acceptable since it does not fulfill the requirement of showing the Scout's knowledge and understanding.

IT MUST BE NOTED THAT SOME REQUIREMENTS WILL TAKE PLACE OUTDOORS AND SCOUTS SHOULD ATTEND WITH OUTDOOR APPAREL AND GEAR APPROPRIATE FOR THE TIME OF YEAR AND FORECASTED WEATHER CONDITIONS. PLEASE ALSO NOTE ANY SPECIAL ITEMS NEEDED FOR USE SPECIFIC TO THIS MERIT BADGE THAT SCOUTS SHOULD HAVE FOR THE CLASS.
1.
Explain the need for bird study and why birds are useful indicators of the quality of the environment. Describe how birds are part of the ecosystem.
Scouts should prepare notes prior to attending, for use during the class, as they will be required to partake in a classroom discussion with other participants and the counselor / instructor to fulfill this requirement.
2.
Show that you are familiar with the terms used to describe birds by sketching or tracing a perched bird and then labeling 15 different parts of the bird. Sketch or trace an extended wing and label six types of wing feathers.
This requirement will be covered during the class, however Scouts should prepare and make themselves familiar with the terms and components of this requirement. Without this preparation and reading (most of which is in the merit badge pamphlet) Scouts may not be signed off on this requirement.
3.
Demonstrate that you know how to properly use and care for binoculars, a spotting scope, or a monocular.
a.
Explain what the specification numbers mean on binoculars, a spotting scope, or a monocular.
b.
Show how to adjust the eyepiece and how to focus for proper viewing.
c.
Show how to properly care for and clean the lenses.
d.
Describe when and where each type of viewing device would be most effective.
Scouts will need to procure one of the three items listed in this requirement and bring it with them to the class. Scouts usually complete this requirement in the class but should come prepared having read the information in the merit badge pamphlet on this requirement. Scouts who do not do the preparation reading and are unable to demonstrate (show) the above aspects of the requirement may not be signed off on this requirement.
4.
Demonstrate that you know how to use a bird field guide. Show your counselor that you are able to understand a range map by locating in the book and pointing out the wintering range, the breeding range, and/or the year-round range of one species of each of the following types of birds:
a.
Seabird
b.
Plover
c.
Falcon or hawk
d.
Warbler or vireo
e.
Heron or egret
f.
Sparrow
g.
Nonnative bird (introduced to North America from a foreign country since 1800)
This requirement will be covered during the class, however it must be noted that preparation by reading the merit badge pamphlet is a MUST for this requirement, but still does not guarantee completion, as Scouts will need to demonstrate a competency level for this requirement to the counselor / instructor. Having done preparation work by thoroughly reading the merit badge pamphlet prior to the class will ensure a higher chance of completion of this requirement for Scouts.
This requirement will be covered during the class, however it must be noted that preparation by reading the merit badge pamphlet is a MUST for this requirement, but still does not guarantee completion, as Scouts will need to demonstrate a competency level for this requirement to the counselor / instructor. Scouts will need to bring their own field guide to the class for completing this requirement. Having done preparation work by thoroughly reading the merit badge pamphlet prior to the class will ensure a higher chance of completion of this requirement for Scouts.
5.
Observe and be able to identify at least 20 species of wild birds. Prepare a field notebook, making a separate entry for each species, and record the following information from your field observations and other references.
a.
Note the date and time.
b.
Note the location and habitat.
c.
Describe the bird’s main feeding habitat and list two types of food that the bird is likely to eat.
d.
Note whether the bird is a migrant or a summer, winter, or year-round resident of your area.

You may download the Scoutmaster Bucky - Bird Study Field Notebook to record your work for requirement 5 and 7. It has been designed to help track your progress for these requirements.

Scouts should have with them on the day of the class their notebook and pencil or pen in order to record their observations. Time will be given in the class to go outside and make observations. Scouts may come to the class with up to 5 of these observations done that can be reviewed with the counselor / instructor. Please note that the 5 done prior to class will be accepted / rejected per the counselor's / instructor's determination of how well the requirements have been met.

This requirement may or may not be able to be completed during the class. Completion of this requirement will be dependent upon weather and time available for this requirement during the class (which will be directly related to how well prepared participants are for completing the other requirements during the class).

This requirement will need to be completed by the Scout independently and may be done prior to or after the class. It is highly recommended that Scouts scan their work into a pdf or other electronic format that can be easily provided or shared with the counselor / instructor. Completion of this requirement should not be assumed simply because the 20 observations are filled in and accounted for, the counselor / instructor must be satisified and acceptant of the work to to their intepretation of how well the requirement has been met.

Scouts not having this requirement fully completed at the end of the online class will have an opportunity to forward their work after the class to Scoutmaster Bucky for consideration by the counselor / instructor. Information for this will be provided as a part of the class when, and if, applicable.

6.
Describe to your counselor how certain orders of birds are uniquely adapted to a specific habitat. In your description, include characteristics such as the size and shape of the following:
a.
Beak
b.
Body
c.
Leg and foot
d.
Feathers/plumage
Scouts will find reading the Bird Study Merit Badge pamphlet ahead of time will give them a thorough understanding of the components of this requirement allowing them to be prepared for discussion in the class. It is recommended that Scouts make notes ahead of time to reference during the class discussion, which will offer them the greatest opportunity for successful completion of this requirement at the class. Only those that come prepared and actively participate in the class discussion will receive a sign off on this requirement.
7.
Explain the function of a bird’s song. Be able to identify five of the 20 species in your field notebook by song or call alone. For each of these five species, enter a description of the song or call, and note the behavior of the bird making the sound. Note why you think the bird was making the call or song that you heard.

You may download the Scoutmaster Bucky - Bird Study Field Notebook to record your work for requirement 5 and 7. It has been designed to help track your progress for these requirements.

Most parts of this requirement will be covered during the class, in order to offer Scouts the best opportunity to complete this requirement as a part of this class, not only should they prepare by reading this requirement's section within the merit badge pamphlet, but a small amount of additional research such as library books or (with your parents' permission)] resources on the internet, could prove very helpful in completing this requirement. Knowing the songs/calls and their meanings for birds found most common and local to Scouts will allow for a higher chance of completion.

8.
Do ONE of the following:
a.
Go on a field trip with a local club or with others who are knowledgeable about birds in your area.
1.
Keep a list or fill out a checklist of all the birds your group observed during the field trip.
2.
Tell your counselor which birds your group saw and why some species were common and some were present in small numbers.
3.
Tell your counselor what makes the area you visited good for finding birds.
b.
By using a public library, the internet, or contacting the National Audubon Society, find the name and location of the Christmas Bird Count nearest your home and obtain the results of a recent count.
1.
Explain what kinds of information are collected during the annual event.
2.
Tell your counselor which species are most common, and explain why these birds are abundant.
3.
Tell your counselor which species are uncommon, and explain why these were present in small numbers. If the number of birds of these species is decreasing, explain why, and what, if anything, could be done to reverse their decline.
Scouts will complete requirement 8A as a part of this class. Completion of this requirement will be based on active participation during the class and successful completion of the requirements as written in this requirement.
Scouts will need to work on this requirement prior to the class as this requirement will NOT be done during the class. However, Scouts will have an opportunity to share any work they have completed prior to the class during the online session. Please remember that completion of requrement must be done to the satisfaction of the merit badge counselor / instructor and their interpretation of successful completion of the requirements as written in this requirement. Be Preapred!
9.
Do ONE of the following. For the option you choose, describe what birds you hope to attract, and why.
a.
Build a bird feeder and put it in an appropriate place in your yard or another location.
b.
Build a birdbath and put it in an appropriate place.
c.
Build a backyard sanctuary for birds by planting trees and shrubs for food and cover.
Scouts will build a bird feeder (requirement 9A) as a part of this class (materials will be supplied at the class) and Scouts will be able to complete this requirement within the class upon completion of the bird feeder project and applying what they have learned and observed in the previous requirements for this merit badge.
This requirement will not be done as a part of this online class. Scouts will have an opportunity to share any work they have done in preparation for the class on this requirement with the counselor / instructor for consideration and potential sign off. Scouts will be provided follow up instructions from the counselor / instructor for any follow up work necessary for completion of this requirement.
10.
Do the following:
a.
Explain the differences between extinct, endangered, and threatened.
b.
Identify a bird species that is on the endangered or threatened list. Explain what caused their decline. Discuss with your counselor what can be done to reverse this trend and what can be done to help remove the species from the endangered or threatened list.
Scouts will find working on this requirement prior to the class will give them the best opportunity for consideration for sign off at the class. Of course, the work must meet the satisfaction of the merit badge counselor / instructor, however, Scouts coming to the class with this work already done usually will receive sign off on this requirement and its components.
11.
Identify three career opportunities connected to the study of birds. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss with your counselor if this profession might interest you.
Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to discuss. It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor / instructor that they have prepared for completion of this requirement.