Education Resources

The following information is offered to help supplement Chapter programs, projects, and materials. If you have any additional requests or questions, please contact

chapter_services@audubon.org

Audubon en Espanol

General Education

 Bird Images and Sounds

Child and Youth Outreach Resources and Programs

Presentations, Movies, Videos and Books

Products, Publications and other Resources

Special Events

Tabletop Displays

Wildlife Rehabilitators

Program & Field Trip Ideas

Run out of ideas for Chapter programs or field trips? Use this list as inspiration! And if your Chapter has offered a program you don't see listed here, please contact us and we'll include your idea to inspire others.

Programs

  • Wildlife and Habitat Programs
  • Conservation Programs
  • Bird Watching/Identification Programs

Field Trips
Workshops, etc.
Movies
Children and Youth Programs
Tips
More Fun Meeting Activities

Programs

Wildlife and Habitat Programs

  • Airborne Ants and Smashing Shrimp: Accident and Intent in the Evolution of Movement (Bedford Audubon Society, NY)
  • All about bees, bats, butterflies, mushrooms, geology, native plants, lichens, moss, dragonflies, amphibians, reptiles, etc.
  • All about bird banding (Lehigh Valley Audubon Society, PA)
  • The Asian Long-Horned Beetle and Other Alien Tree-Killers (Bedford Audubon Society, NY)
  • Bird Brainiac...Little Feathered Thinkers - discover how the avian mind works relating to intelligence, sentience, tools, language and learning. (Prairie Woods Audubon Society, IL)
  • Bird species information (e.g., why species x is in decline)
  • A Bird's Eye View: How Birds See the World - a review of the latest research on bird vision and how birds use their senses to perceive and interact with their world (Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society, NY)
  • Birds and Aging - Birds live longer then similar-sized mammals despite having a number of traits that should cause them to age quickly. Given this, birds are an excellent model to study the aging process. Mark's presentation will focus on how cellular aging mechanisms impact species lifespan and individual survival, and how studying aging in birds can teach us about how we age. Presented by Mark Haussmann, Professor of Biology, Bucknell University. (Seven Mountains Audubon Society, PA)
  • Birds of the Ancient and Modern Maya (Monmouth County Audubon Society, NJ)
  • Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood Feeding Creatures (Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society, NY)
  • Butterflies and blooms slideshow
  • Chimney Swifts and People (Elisha Mitchel Audubon Society, NC)
  • The coloration of birds (Clearwater and St. Petersburg Audubon Societies, FL)
  • Effects of urban noise on song structure in bird species (Fresno Audubon Society, CA)
  • Feathered architects: the fascinating world of bird nests (Pilchuck Audubon Society, WA)
  • Geology of the _____________ hills/mountains/etc.
  • The History of Our State Park and Forest System (Lehigh Valley Audubon Society, PA)
  • How Birds Create their Wonderful Colors (Presque Isle Audubon Soceity, PA)
  • The invaluable ecosystem services of the humble dung beetle (Bedford Audubon Society, NY)
  • Keeping Amphibians in the Backyard and Beyond: How Pesticides and Land Use Impact Amphibian Communities (Audubon Miami Valley, OH)
  • Local Landscape Pre-settlement - what did your area look like before all the towns, developments, roads...etc? (Madison Audubon Society, WI)
  • Nature Superstitions - (Good for Friday the 13th!) Black cats and broken mirrors are associated with bad luck.  Four leaf clovers and rabbit feet are associated with good luck. Some superstitions and myths are based in truth. With others, it is a puzzle as to where they originated. In this program, we'll discuss some common nature superstitions, where they come from and if there is any truth in them. We will also introduce participants to some of live animals that don't have the best reputations.  "You will get warts if you touch a toad." "Snakes are slimy." Now is your chance to see the animals up close and personal.(Jamestown Audubon Society, NY)
  • Primal Dancing: Social language that binds crane families (Arctic Audubon Society, AK)
  • Solitary Bees in our Landscapes (San Joaquin Audubon Society, CA)
  • "Tongues, Toes, and Tails"- Our Amazing Wookpeckers (Buena Vista Audubon Society, Oceanside, CA)
  • Wildlife in the Bedroom - explores the bizarre and fascinating courting and mating behaviors of our native wildlife (Washington Crossing Audubon Society, NJ)
  • Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation (Eastern Long Island Audubon Society, NY)

Conservation Programs

  • Bird's Eye View of Climate Change (Rogue Valley Audubon Society, OR)
  • California's Marine Life Protection Act: A Bird's-Eye View (Golden Gate Audubon Society, CA)
  • Ecoroofs for Biodiversity - slide show and of latest design approaches being applied in Europe to promote insect diversity and habitat for ground-nesting birds. Discussion of challenges and opportunities of expanding biodiverse roofs in the local area. (Portland Audubon, OR)
  • Effects of light pollution on wildlife
  • Home Improvements for Birds (Bitterroot Audubon Society, MT)
  • How to landscape for birds/pollinators
  • How to propagate native plants
  • Info on local conservation campaigns, initiatives
  • Is it Rescue or a Kidnapping? - Wildlife rehabilitator will discuss how to tell if wildlife needs rescuing or to be left alone. (West Volusia Audubon Society, FL)
  • Invisible Panes: Attractive & Useful for Humans, Deceiving & Deadly for Birds (Lehigh Valley Audubon Society, PA)
  • Landscaping with Bird-friendly Plants (South Mountain Audubon Society, PA)
  • Nature Deficit Disorder What is it and how do I cure it? - how to connect people with nature (Pelican Island Audubon Society, FL)
  • One of Audubon's Global Warming presentations
  • Our beaches are moving - but where and why? (Central Westchester Audubon Society, NY)
  • Penguins in Peril: How Climate Change Impacts Penguins Worldwide (Bedford Audubon Society, NY)
  • Rain Gardens (Potomac Valley Audubon Society, WV)
  • Residential renewable energy options/incentive programs (sometimes the power company or a local non-profit organization will have info)
  • Restoration of the ____________ river/prairie/marsh/etc.
  • Roads and Wildlife (Maine Audubon, ME)
  • Storm Water - What you can do at home to protect lakes, streams, rivers and other wetlands from contaminants. (Canton Audubon Society, OH)
  • The Web - Water, Energy, Birds - It's All Connected! (Audubon of Florida) Many energy and water saving measures involve modifications within the home. Yet an average of 50 percent of our water and the energy to provide that water goes onto our landscapes. We will explore not only the conservation measures you might consider indoors, but the huge benefits that landscaping with native plants and habitat restoration can have on your pocketbook, the birds and our global environment.Why buy local? (presenters from various local producer groups - farmers markets, small businesses, etc.)

Bird Watching/Identification Programs

  • Bird Art Through the Centuries: Humans Conveying their Love of Birds (Pelican Island Audubon Society, FL)
  • Bird Feeding Class - selecting feeders and birdseed; discouraging squirrels and diseases, feeder cleaning (Audubon Society of Greater Denver, CO)
  • Bird ID Panel - The Chapter develops a PowerPoint presentation of regional birds from photos emailed by members. Then, a panel of Chapter experts works to identify each bird and explain to the audience their methods of thinking. (Lahontan Audubon Society, NV)
  • But it Doesn't Look Like...  ...The One in the Book! - explore the art of identifying birds in the field by examining why birds so rarely look exactly as depicted in field guides. (Pasadena Audubon Society, CA)
  • eBird! Learn What It Is and How to Use It (Pasadena Audubon Society, CA)
  • Exotic birding trip report (e.g., New Guinea Rainforest)
  • Finding Birds in the Digital Age: From eBird to Listservs to Smartphones to Facebook (Los Angeles Audubon Society, CA)
  • How and why birds sing (Eastern Long Island Audubon Society, NY)
  • How our Brain Identifies Birds - Birding Identification Like a Pro (Los Angeles Audubon Society, CA)
  • Raptor specialist brings birds for "show-and-tell"
  • Technology - How to set up a bird cam, post video on YouTube, and share photos and bird sightings on the web.
  • Telling the Hard Ones Apart - learn the characteristics that distinguish similar-looking bird species from one another; welcome attendees to bring their own photos depicting an ID dilemma (Rogue Valley Audubon Society, OR)
  • Understanding and describing bird sounds - Receive a checklist of characteristics of bird sounds and and practice describing sounds using them. Learn how to read sonograms, powerful visual tools for learning and describing sounds. (Central Sierra Audubon Society, Pasadena Audubon Society, CA)

Hands-On Programs

  • Bring your favorite bird/wildlife/plant photos (top 3 or 5, depending on how many participants you end up with) - create a PowerPoint presentation with these slides and have each individual describe his/her slides
  • Identification of animal scat, tracks, bones & fossils, fur etc.
  • Nature photography (also good for the field)
  • Orienteering - learn how to use a compass (Jamestown Audubon Society , NY)
  • Plant Exchange (Jamestown Audubon Society, NY)
  • Seeing the Cosmos without a Telescope - learn basic knowledge and skills to find your way around the sky and use it for navigation and time-telling. (Audubon Society of Portland, OR)

Field Trips

  • Adopt-a-Trail work day (remove invasive weeds, pick up trash, etc.)
  • Advanced birding
  • Aquarium, conservatory, refuge, etc. tour
  • Backyard Habitat tour 
  • Basic birding
  • Birding and Optics Fest & Field Trip - Test various brands of spotting scopes and binoculars and enjoy a short birding walk
  • Birding by bike, raft, x-country ski (try a full moon ski looking for owls!), snowshoe, horse, stroller (moms and babies), etc.
  • Birds Bees and Archaeology (Desert Rivers Audubon Society, AZ)
  • "Birds, Boats, & Barbecue" event (Plumas Audubon Society, CA) - featuring guided bird and flower walks, canoe/kayak trip and barbecue social.
  • Butterfly, mushroom, pollinator, geology, astronomy, insect, etc. walk
  • Cave Bat Emergence Field Trip (Travis Audubon Society, TX)
  • Cross-Country Skiing and/or Snowshoe Field Trips (Flathead Audubon Society, MT) - Explore the winter landscape by ski or snowshoe to learn the stories written on the snow by the mammals and birds who winter there.
  • Edible trees and plants
  • Full Moon Nature Walks (Maine Audubon, ME)
  • Grandparents and Grandkids fieldtrips (Jamestown Audubon Society, NY)
  • Native plant identification
  • Family birding at the park
  • Intermediate birding
  • Moth Lighting at Night (Allegheny Plateau Audubon Society, PA)
  • Native tree identification
  • Nature Journaling (Orange Audubon Society, FL)
  • Owl Calling, evening trip. It'll be a hoot!
  • Photographers for Pollinators (Allegheny Plateau Audubon Society, PA)
  • Raptor/songbird banding
  • Trip to local sanctuary or center
  • Visitng Vernal Pools (Maine Audubon, ME)
  • Waste management tour (landfill, sewage treatment plant, recycling center, etc.)
  • Wildlife tracking (Great Salt Lake Audubon, UT) - From wildlife scat, tracks, walking patterns and clues on the landscape - explore how animal behavior and adaptations allow them to survive the wintry wonderland.

Workshops etc.

  • Backyard Beekeeping (Fresno Audubon Society, CA)
  • Becoming an Outdoors Woman (Minnesota River Valley Audubon Society, MN)
  • Bird feeder/house-making workshop
  • Bird/nature drawing workshop - bring in feathers, seeds, flowers, pine cones, etc. (also good for in the field - sketch trees, squirrels, landscapes, rocks, etc.)
  • Birding on the Farm - explore why organic farms are key to the conservation of some of our most important bird species. (Wachiska Audubon Society, NE)
  • Energy Conservation Workshop - basic things to do around the home to save energy and money (Jamestown Audubon Society, NY)
  • Learn about lichens - Lichen ID, ecosystem services (e.g., birds use lichens in nesting material), ethnobotanical uses. This is a good one for winter because wind and snow knock them out of trees and there are fewer leaves to hide them in foliage. (North Central Washington Audubon Society, WA)
  • Field Trip Leader Training (Travis Audubon Society, TX) - Three Austin area field trips led by some of our most experienced leaders; two, one-hour classes, out-of-town field trip
  • Inside Birding - Cornell Lab of Ornithology - try offering this as a 4-part series workshop: play each episode and follow it with slides of local birds to practice the lesson learned
  • Master Naturalist Workshops (Potomac Valley Audubon Society: expert instruction on specific natural history topics)

Movies (relocated here)

Children and Youth Programs

  • Birds and Girl Scouts (Peregrine Audubon Society, CA)
  • Body Armor (Jamestown Audubon Society, NY) From turtle shells to porcupine quills, prey animals have some unique armor they use to stay safe. Investigate different body coverings to see how they help animals survive.
  • Bushcraft - Learn primitive skills for wilderness living, make tools from stone and bone, start fires without matches...etc. (Audubon Society of Portland, OR)
  • Creatures of the Not So Deep - explore ponds with dip nets and learn about the insect life that lives under water (Jamestown Audubon Society, NY)
  • Dressed in White - Many animals change the color of their fur in winter, investigate how the winter adaptation of camouflage helps animals survive. (Jamestown Audubon Society, NY)
  • The Enchanted Forest (a good one for October) - Walk along trails lit with glowing jack-o-lanterns as you visit nocturnal animals portrayed by costumed interpreters who will regale you with stories about their lives. A magical event for all ages! (Buffalo Audubon Society, NY)
  • Exploring Owl Pellets (Flathead Audubon Society, MT)
  • Junior Wildlife Vet - learn about the care of injured and orphaned wildlife with wildlife rehabilitators (Audubon Society of Portland, OR)
  • Making Tracks - Learn which animals make which tracks, try to move like some animals, and make tracks of your own (Jamestown Audubon Society, NY)
  • Nature Babies - learn about which babies are around in the spring/summer and look for some on a nature walk, especially notice some babies look nothing like their grown-ups. (Jamestown Audubon Society, NY)
  • Owl Discovery & Craft - Provide program on owls, what they eat, how they find food, can they really see in the dark?...etc. after program create pinecone owls (glue googly eyes, a felt beak and feathers onto a pinecone) and dissect an owl pellet to see exactly what they eat. (The Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society, NY)
  • Raising a Monarch Butterfly - Learn everything you need to know to be a monarch caretaker (Jamestown Audubon Society, NY)
  • Scary, Slimy, Scaly (Audubon Society of Corvallis, OR) - nature program about misunderstood Halloween animals (bats, spiders, and snakes)
  • A Seed is Sleepy - learn about different seeds, collect some and see how they grow. (Jamestown Audubon Society, NY)
  • Welcome to Camping, Kids! (Tahoma Audubon Society, WA) - introduced families to the world of camping; a local outdoor recreation equipment store loaned tents and other camping gear; demonstrations of Dutch oven cooking, foil packets, stick cooking; s'more making
  • What's On Your Plate? - a film by Catherine Gund with Sadie Hope-Gund and Safiyah Riddle - is a witty and provocative documentary about kids and food politics. Learn more at www.whatsonyourplateproject.org
  • Wildlife Origami (Flathead Audubon Society, MT)

Tips

The subject of a program can have many different twists. For example "Insects":

  • Dragonflies and damselflies
  • Butterflies and caterpillars
  • Creating a pollinator garden
  • Value of insects and their relationships to birds, through the link of our native plants
  • Invaluable ecosystem services of the dung beetle

More Fun Meeting Activities

  • Birders' Breakfasts, Supper with the Swifts
  • Have an informal bird quiz while enjoying pizza (Llano Estacado Audubon Society, TX)

Child and Youth Education

Audubon Adventures
Audubon's environmental education program about the natural world and how to protect it can be implemented in any classroom or after-school program. Audubon Adventures gives teachers many ways to help students meet required educational performance and content standards in science and language arts. Audubon Adventures fosters in children a stewardship ethic to last a lifetime. Learn more

Tips for Bringing Nature into the Classroom

Tips for Teaching Outdoors

Chapter Youth Outreach

Christmas Bird Counts for Kids
Every year for over a century, Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) have been organized across the Western Hemisphere through Audubon, mainly for adults. Because families with young kids have not always felt invited,  Sonoma Birding created the CBC 4 Kids - a stand-alone half day event instilling some of the important basic ingredients of this grand tradition. The objective is to have fun and potentially create a hometown team of birders and conservationists for the future while encouraging families to enjoy and respect nature together. It only takes 2-3 teams to get started. Target a date between the 2nd weekend in December and  the 3rd weekend in January. It is a wonderfully simple, healthy, holiday celebration for almost any school, youth group, Audubon Chapter or nature center, wildlife refuge or local community. Read more about it on their web site and the AUDUBON magazine blog.  Contact Tom Rusert for more details. 

Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Getting Kids Involved

Flying WILD
A program of the Council for Environmental Education that inspires young people to discover more about the natural world through learning about migratory birds. The instructional materials are adapted to support state and national science education standards and assessment criteria for middle school grades. Their Additional Resources page offers many downloadable PDFs of kids' activities.

Project Learning Tree
PLT uses the forest as a "window" on the world to increase students' understanding of our environment; stimulate students' critical and creative thinking; develop students' ability to make informed decisions on environmental issues; and instill in students the commitment to take responsible action on behalf of the environment. The website has many downloadable teaching resources.

Wisconsin Bird Monitoring Kit for Educators
The Bird Monitoring Kit, put together by the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, introduces students to birds and birding and builds their nature observation skills. The kit includes:

  • 15 pairs binoculars
  • 1 spotting scope with tripod
  • 5 field guides
  • Posters
  • 1 bird placemat
  • 1 CD of common birds found in Wisconsin
  • 1 Educator's guide

Public Outreach Ideas

Need some ideas for how to get your Chapter's name out there? These Chapters have found some unique ways of doing just that!

Bridgerland Audubon Society (UT) uses the airwaves for outreach with their Wild About Utah program on Utah Public Radio: www.bridgerlandaudubon.org/wildaboututah/