Audubon New York’s For the Birds! is a place-based environmental education program that promotes awareness and appreciation of nature through the study of birds. The Mission of For the Birds! is to get students and educators excited about local birds and the natural world around them. During a 4, 8, or 16-week session, students are learn about birds and their local environment through classroom lessons, outdoor field trips, and a conservation project that is designed to help birds in their community.
For the Birds! started in New York City in 1997 and has since become Audubon New York’s premier state-wide environmental education program. For the Birds! not only provides knowledge of local species and habitats, but also encourages a sense of pride in one’s own community and empowers students to take an active interest in protecting their local environment.
Fun Facts about For the Birds!
- For the birds! can be taught in an in-school or after school setting
- Curriculum adaptable for 2nd through 8th grades
- Teachers can choose a 4, 8 or 16-week program
- Each student receives a bird guide and nature journal to use throughout the length of the program
- At the end of each lesson student will write and draw birds in their journals
- 50% of lessons are taught indoors and 50% are taught outdoors
- For the Birds is aligned to New York State and National performance standards in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
- Lessons integrate Language Arts, geography, and social studies
- Each program culminates to a field trip to a local park or preserve and/or a habitat project designed to help birds
New York City
Julie Nelsen, Education Manager
Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center
134 Cove Road, Oyster Bay NY 10524
|Hudson Valley Region
Rebecca Schultz, Education Manager
Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary
127 Warren Landing Road Garrison, New York 10524
|Finger Lakes Region
Lacy Gardener, Environmental Educator
Montezuma Audubon Center
2295 State Route 89 Savannah, NY 13146
To see the For the Birds! program in action, click here to see footage from a field trip to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
"In our class there are twenty one different student names. In the world there are 8,500 different bird names. Birds are named because of their looks, their color, what they do, where they were born, or who discovered them. Some are named for the way they sing and for friends and family. The black-capped chickadee is named after its black cap and the sound it makes." - Gabriela Hernandez, 4th Grade student
"There was a question on the NY State Science exam regarding migration. All of the children knew what migration was thanks to the For the Birds! program. I was amazed at the level of commitment exhibited by the educators from the program. They really want to see the children learn and excel." - Carissa Becker, Teacher, PS 102
"Being able to work with and help children learn to see, appreciate and gain more knowledge about nature has been a wonderfully satisfying experience. Not only are the students more observant of the natural world, but their regular journal recordings about birds and their habitats have improved the children's overall attentiveness and writing skills. We make a difference. It is truly exhilarating!" - Gini Stowe, Volunteer
"My teachers and I have witnessed the time and effort that go into "For The Birds!" We are impressed with Audubon's grasp of both MST and ELA standards in the lessons they design. Parents have commented on the excitement with which their children describe the program." - Fran Rosenstein, Principal, PS 159