Be a bird watcher or ornithologist. What questions will you ask? What equipment would help you? Find field guides specific to the local area.
Evidence of the Presence of Birds
What evidence of the presence of birds other than the birds themselves is seen? (Feathers, tracks, parts of dead birds, partially eaten food, owl pellets, droppings)
Habitats for Birds
What are the best places to look for birds? Why are some places better than others?
Look at the "Wood Duck or Merganser Box" near Bench A. Is there any evidence of a duck beginning to build a nest in it?
Look for cavities birds have made in trees. What birds may have made them? Why?
Look at other bird houses along the trails. Why might people clean the bird houses in spring?
Why do different kinds of birds come to trees in spring? How and where do they sit on or in the trees? (Roosting, nesting, food gathering, shelter, look out or hunting locations, food collection under bark)
Find bird nests from last year in bushes and trees. What kinds of birds may have built the nests? Take photos of the nests. Why might the birds have chosen each of these places for their nests? (Oriole nest high in a maple tree, nest in a conifer, etc.) Which birds built their nests in cavities? What cavities were made by animals and which cavities were provided by people?
Why might it be good to leave old nests in trees or bushes?
Use the list of birds seen in the Kuse Nature Preserve in spring. How many of them do you see? (Blackbirds, Bluebirds, Blue jays, Bobolinks, Bobwhites, Brown Thrashers, Cardinals, Catbirds, Chickadees, Cowbirds, Crows, Mourning Doves, Wood Ducks, Mallard Ducks, Hooded Mergansers, Purple Finches, House Finches, Goldfinches, Flycatchers, Geese, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Hawks, Hummingbirds, Indigo Buntings, Killdeers, Kingbirds, Kingfishers, Meadowlarks, Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches, Phoebes, Red-eyed Vireos, Robins, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Chipping, Clay-colored, Fox, Lincoln's, Savannah, English, Song, Tree, White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows, Starlings, Tree and Barn Swallows, Rufus-sided Towhees, Turkeys, many kinds of Warblers, Cedar Waxwings, Downy, Hairy Pileated, Red-bellied and Red-headed Woodpeckers, Wood Pewees, House and Sedge Wrens and others)
What bird calls might you hear in spring? What tapping sounds do different species make? Use audio recordings of birds to help you learn the "language" of birds of our area. Often we hear a bird before we see it.
Learn how shape, size, plumage, flight patterns and other visual clues help with identification of birds.