Bird Study Merit Badge Day
Logistics and Checklists


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What you need for your event

Logistics are simple, provided Scouts are given advance notice. Do this by including a list of required materials on the event announcement flyer.

Each boy needs to bring:

A completed BSA merit badge application card signed by his Scoutmaster.
A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern (or Western as appropriate) North America by Roger Tory Peterson. Peterson is the easiest to teach kids from, and having kids all use the same text is best.
(The Peterson field guide can be borrowed from their local public library if money is a problem)
Bird Study Merit Badge Pamphlet (1999 Edition)
A good pair of binoculars (the best that they can borrow), unless you have enough loaners.
A small notebook (an eight inch by five inch spiral notebook is ideal) in a ziplock plastic bag
Two pencils
An clean one gallon plastic milk jug to make a bird feeder
Pocketknife
Scissors

In addition, all should be suitably dressed for a day hike (Boy Scout Handbook page 207) including:

Lunch
Small backpack,
Water,
Suitable shoes and clothing
Raingear.

The Instructor additionally needs:

Flash cards and/or slides of forty locally common birds. Flash cards can be made by clipping photos of local birds from magazines, calendars or printing them from a CD-ROM. Bird slides are available for sale from VIREO or the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Organizations that conduct beginning bird watching courses may have a set you can use.
 
Lewis Milledge, an ASM in Florida has found an interesting CD-ROM to use if you have access to a computer:

"The Thayer Birding Birds of America is now co-branded with Cornell Lab. Also, they have released a series of "Our Birds" which is a slimmed down version which incorporates only the birds found in one State. For example the the CD for New Jersey includes 297 birds and is priced at $25.00 this can be upgraded to the full Birds of America. See www.Thayerbirding.com ".  You can use the software to make a custom quiz of your forty common birds.  This can be used as a gathering time activity.

A tape or CD of common and easily identifiable local calls.  If you can arrange it, a computer with a CD-ROM drive and an LCD projector can be used to both display the field marks and play the calls of the birds from a CD-ROM field guide.

Flip Chart and markers or a chalkboard and chalk.

A projector, screen, extension cords and cassette player

Lens Tissue and cleaner (an old pair of binoculars to demonstrate cleaning might also be useful)

Florist wire and wire cutters for making hanging loops for the feeders. .

Handouts of sketches of a bird and wing for tracing and labeling by Scouts. These can be photocopies out of most field guides.

Although unlikely to be used, a first aid kit and telephone should be available in the event of an emergency.


Publicity and Scheduling

Scouting for Birds