Ecologist School logo

Choose Learning Type ▼

Bird Beak Study

Activity

Form Follows Function

Walk around the park and study the beaks of birds to find out what they eat. Create a “beak” that you can use to pick up berries, seeds, nuts or other items you find in the park using items found in your backpack or around you in nature, like sticks, moss, pencils, rubber bands, etc.
orn1 (3)
orn1 (2)
orn1

Science Seed

The saying “form follows function” applies well to bird beaks. Their shape is adapted to match their food source. Charles Darwin based his theory of evolution on the different shapes of mockingbird beaks found on different Galapagos Islands. Raptors have sharp beaks for tearing meat, seed-eating birds have thick beaks that are strong enough to crack seed shells, some shore birds have pointed beaks to spear fish, and hummingbirds have beaks that match the flowers they prefer to get nectar from.
botany jar illustration

earn Badges

Badges can be earned through hands-on experiences within each of the 16 branches of science, or “Science Slices.” You can earn a badge in each branch of science by doing four activities in these categories. We also encourage participants to keep a Nature Journal to record their memories, and to express themselves creatively through writing or drawing after each activity. We recommend that each child (and parent if they’d like) write or draw in a journal after each activity, with expectations of your children that match their age (the goal is self-expression, not perfection).

Explore the Detroit Libraries

Use this map to help you guide your way through the Detroit Libraries as you complete activities.

The Ecologist School Pocket Guide: Detroit Libraries Edition is a project by Families in Nature to help our community learn more about the ecosystems around them, while getting outside into nature together! This booklet has 64 lessons across 16 different branches of science to help you play, learn and volunteer in the park as a family!

Special thanks to the National Recreation and Park Associations’ Resilient Park Access Grant that allowed the creation of expanded natural areas in parks throughout Detroit and made Nature Exploration Backpacks available for checkout at Detroit libraries. Many thanks to the partners involved including City of Detroit General Services Department, Detroit Outdoors, Sierra Club Inspiring Connections Outdoors, The Greening of Detroit, NRPA, Detroit Public Libraries, Families in Nature and the Nature Pocket Community Advisory Committee.

Take these guides, and explore some near-by nature in a park near you:

District 1: Stoepel No. 1

District 2: Sawyer Playground

District 3: Jayne Field

 

District 4: Skinner Playfield

District 5: Bishop Park

District 6: Romanowski Park

District 7: Stein Playfield

join Families in Nature

It is our vision to inspire all families to fall in love with nature and foster the next generation of conservationists. Becoming a member of Families in Nature will give your family the opportunity to have adventures in nature, experience field science, develop as youth conservation leaders, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Memberships are free for everyone.

Who are we?

Families in Nature works to create opportunities for nature connection with the purpose of sparking a deep love and desire to protect, conserve and restore the environment. Our mission is to connect children and their families to nature and to each other through time spent learning, playing, and volunteering outdoors. It is our vision to inspire ALL families to fall in love with nature and foster the next generation of conservationists.
Families in Nature works to create opportunities for nature connection with the purpose of sparking a deep love and desire to protect, conserve and restore the environment. Our mission is to connect children and their families to nature and to each other through time spent learning, playing, and volunteering outdoors. It is our vision to inspire ALL families to fall in love with nature and foster the next generation of conservationists.
Skip to content