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NY State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Education


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Geography

Resource Types

  • Artwork
  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York



Songbirds of New York

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  • This illustration highlights the physical features, behavioral patterns, and diets of various songbirds that reside in New York State.
  • Students will learn that these birds use bird feeders and nest boxes, come in various colors, and eat an omnivorous diet that includes small animals.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource's text is concise and easy to understand.
  • The beautiful illustrations depict the birds and highlight the differences between male and female birds.

Additional Prerequisites

  • It may help students to understand avian reproductive cycles.
  • Students should know that different types of animals have features that serve a purpose.


  • This resource can fit within a larger unit on biodiversity and ecosystems within New York state.
  • Teachers can use this illustration as a conceptual introduction to bird phenology.
  • Students can consider and discuss their own experiences with these particular songbirds.
  • Science classes can discuss the ecological impacts of bird feeders and nest boxes.
  • After reading the information, classes can go on a birdwatching walk and identify as many songbirds as possible.
  • Students may want to hear recordings of the birdsongs, which may also assist them in identifying the birds.
  • Teachers can copy and paste the text in the resource into a tool like Google Translate to help ELL students.
Scientist Notes
This resource from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) provides a one-page full-color illustration of some songbirds in New York State. A brief blurb accompanies each bird type and contains information about when these birds are present, what they look like, how big they are, how quickly they fly, and how many baby birds they have each year. This resource is well-researched and is a great addition as a classroom activity or as classroom decor.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
      • MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 3-LS4-3 Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.5.6-8 Analyze the combinations of cultural and environmental characteristics that make places both similar to and different from other places.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.2 Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
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