Boy Scout Merit Badge
- Explain the need for bird study and why birds are useful indicators of the
quality of the environment.
- 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
- Demonstrate that you know how to properly use and care for binoculars.
- Explain what the specification numbers on the binoculars mean.
- Show how to adjust the eyepiece and how to focus for proper viewing.
- Show how to properly care for and clean the lenses.
- 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:
- Warbler or vireo
- Heron or egret
- Nonnative bird (introduced to North America from a foreign country since
- 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.
- Note the date and time.
- Note the location and habitat.
- Describe the bird's main feeding habitat and list two types of food that
the bird is likely to eat.
- Note whether the bird is a migrant or a summer, winter, or year-round
resident of your area.
- 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.
- Do ONE of the following:
- Go on a field trip with a local club or with others who are
knowledgeable about birds in your area.
- Keep a list or fill out a checklist of all the birds your group
observed during the field trip.
- Tell your counselor which birds your group saw and why some species
were common and some were present in small numbers.
- Tell your counselor what makes the area you visited good for finding
- By using a public library 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.
- Explain what kinds of information are collected during the annual
- Tell your counselor which species are most common, and explain why
these birds are abundant.
- 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
- Do ONE of the following. For the option you choose, describe what birds
you hope to attract, and why.
- Build a bird feeder and put it in an appropriate place in your yard or
- Build a birdbath and put it in an appropriate place.
- Build a backyard sanctuary for birds by planting trees and shrubs for
food and cover.
BSA Advancement ID#: 29
Source: Boy Scout
Requirements, #33215E, revised 2002