This week's LabZone activity
April 16, 2008
What Seeds Do Birds Prefer to Eat?
The goal of this project is to investigate the seed-eating preferences of local birds.
If you'd like to learn more about the birds in your area, then building a bird feeder is a great way to do that. A well-placed feeder will attract birds, allowing you to get a close-up look without disturbing the birds from behind a nearby window.
This project shows you how to design and build a four-part feeder that will make it easy to figure out what types of seeds your local birds like best. The project is based on an entry to the 2007 California State Science Fair (Fukumitsu, 2007). With this design, you can easily measure the rate at which different types of seeds are consumed. You can also observe which species of birds prefer which part of the feeder. This will give you insight into species-specific seed preferences for your local bird population.
You should do background research on the types of birds in your area. Find out about each bird's preferred habitat and diet. With the right food, you may be able to attract some birds that you don't normally see otherwise. So spend some time in your wood shop, then get out your binoculars and start watching birds!
Experimental Procedure and Additional Information
Used with permission. Copyright © 2002-2008 Kenneth Lafferty Hess Family Charitable Foundation. All rights reserved.
For more science project ideas, go to www.sciencebuddies.org/mentoring/areas_of_science.shtml.
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