Radio Merit Badge

Plainsboro Preserve Bird Study Merit Badge Day



Saturday April 7, 2007 - 9AM - Plainsboro Preserve


Interested in the fastest-growing outdoor activity in America?

 Bird Study Merit Badge is easy and a lot of fun!  With a little pre-study, you’ll complete most, if not all, of the requirements in this one-day class.


The New Jersey Audubon Society’s Plainsboro Preserve will host a Bird Study Merit Badge class on Saturday, April 7, 2007.  Instruction & demos will be from 9AM to 12 PM, followed by a bird walk ending at 3 PM.  If we don't see 20 species on our walk, Scouts will be able to complete the badge on their own or at free morning bird walks on any other weekend.  The course is limited to the first 24 Boy Scouts who submit their forms with a $15.00 non-refundable registration fee.


Directions to New Jersey Audubon’s Plainsboro Preserve:

From US Route 1, take the Scudder’s Mill Road exit. Follow to the fifth traffic light (Dey Road). Make a left onto Dey Road and head east for about 1/2 mile to the first traffic light (Scotts Corner Road). Turn left onto Scotts Corner Road. Follow for about 1/4 mile past the Community park on your left. The preserve entrance will be on your left. Turn into the entry gate and follow the entry road back to the parking lot on your right.  (More info can be found at


How to participate:

Mail the completed registration form with a fifteen-dollar check (payable to New Jersey Audubon Society) to Plainsboro Preserve, 80 Scotts Corner Road, Cranbury, NJ 08512 by March 25, 2007.  If you have any questions, call the preserve at (609) 897-9400. Class is limited to 24 pre-registered Boy Scouts, who have completed the pre-work below:


MANDATORY PRE-WORK BEFORE CLASS (about three hours of reading)

1.       Completely read the 1999 or newer printing of the Bird Study Merit Badge pamphlet.

2.       Learn the field marks of these local birds from a field guide before class:

Double Crest. Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Mute Swan

Canada Goose


Turkey Vulture


Bald Eagle

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk

American Kestrel

Peregrine Falcon

Wild Turkey



Laughing Gull

Herring Gull

Common Tern

Rock Dove

Mourning Dove

Great Horned Owl

Eastern Screech Owl

Downy Woodpecker

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Tree Swallow

Blue Jay

American Crow

Black-capped Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

Gray Catbird

Northern Mockingbird

Red-Eyed Vireo

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Cardinal

White-Throated sparrow

Song Sparrow

Dark-Eyed Junco

Red-Winged Blackbird

Common Grackle

House Finch

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow

European Starling

If you observe any birds before the class, record them in a notebook as shown in requirement five.  They will count!


Bring the following to class:

q       A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America by Roger Tory Peterson  

          (borrow a copy from your public library if you can't afford your own)

q       A good pair of binoculars

          (the absolute best ones you can borrow, ideally 7x35)

q       Suitable hiking shoes, clothing and equipment           

          (see Boy Scout handbook pages 204 & 207)

q       Bird Study Merit Badge Pamphlet (1999 Edition)

q       Merit badge application signed by Scoutmaster.

q       A clean, empty one gallon plastic milk jug

    (will be made into a birdfeeder with the scissors)

q       Small spiral notebook in a zip lock plastic bag

q       Two pencils

q       Pocketknife

q       Bag Lunch

q       Large Scissors (for cutting milk jug)

q       Small backpack

q       Water Bottle

q       Raingear



Bird Study Merit Badge Registration Form  

(Please return by March 25 with check for fifteen dollars)

Scout _____________________________of Troop ____ living at  _______________________________________

has my permission to participate in the Bird Study Merit Badge program.  In the event of an emergency, I authorize any necessary medical treatment in the event that I can't be reached at (______)____________________.


Parent or Guardian Signature: _____________________________  Date: ___________


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