Merit Badge Requirements Merit Badge History
Bird Study Merit Badge Workbook
This Scoutmaster Bucky Merit Badge Workbook is based off the 2021 Scouts BSA Requirements.
Type your work on this page or download the Bird Study Workbook PDF.

Consider also using the Bird Study merit badge class preparation page for clarification and expections when participating in a Scoutmaster Bucky merit badge opportunity (online or in-person).

Scout's Name:
Requirement 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.
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.
Requirement 3: Demonstrate that you know how to properly use and care for binoculars, a spotting scope, or a monocular.
Requirement 3a: Explain what the specification numbers mean on binoculars, a spotting scope, or a monocular.
Requirement 3b: Show how to adjust the eyepiece and how to focus for proper viewing.
Requirement 3c: Show how to properly care for and clean the lenses.
Requirement 3d: Describe when and where each type of viewing device would be most effective.
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:
Requirement 4a: Seabird
Requirement 4b: Plover
Requirement 4c: Falcon or hawk
Requirement 4d: Warbler or vireo
Requirement 4e: Heron or egret
Requirement 4f: Sparrow
Requirement 4g: Nonnative bird (introduced to North America from a foreign country since 1800)
Requirement 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.
Requirement 5a: Note the date and time.
Requirement 5b: Note the location and habitat.
Requirement 5c: Describe the bird's main feeding habitat and list two types of food that the bird is likely to eat.
Requirement 5d: Note whether the bird is a migrant or a summer, winter, or year-round resident of your area.
Requirement 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:
Requirement 6a: Beak
Requirement 6b: Body
Requirement 6c: Leg and foot
Requirement 6d: Feathers/plumage
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.
Requirement 8: Do ONE of the following:
Requirement 8a: Go on a field trip with a local club or with others who are knowledgeable about birds in your area.
Requirement 8a1: Keep a list or fill out a checklist of all the birds your group observed during the field trip.
Requirement 8a2: Tell your counselor which birds your group saw and why some species were common and some were present in small numbers.
Requirement 8a3: Tell your counselor what makes the area you visited good for finding birds.
Requirement 8b: 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.
Requirement 8b1: Explain what kinds of information are collected during the annual event.
Requirement 8b2: Tell your counselor which species are most common, and explain why these birds are abundant.
Requirement 8b3: 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.
Requirement 9: Do ONE of the following. For the option you choose, describe what birds you hope to attract, and why.
Requirement 9a: Build a bird feeder and put it in an appropriate place in your yard or another location.
Requirement 9b: Build a birdbath and put it in an appropriate place.
Requirement 9c: Build a backyard sanctuary for birds by planting trees and shrubs for food and cover.
Requirement 10: Do the following:
Requirement 10a.: Explain the differences between extinct, endangered, and threatened.
Requirement 10b.: 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.
Requirement 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.