2003-2004 Pittsburg High School

Bird Feeder Experiment

We designed an experiment to see whether birds preferred different habitat and food types on the Pittsburg High School (PHS) campus. Everyone worked together to construct bird feeders, which we placed in three different local habitats (an open with no cover, an area with some bushes nearby, and an area near the trees by the school soccer field). Four feeders were placed in each habitat, and a different food type (wild bird seed, peanuts, thistle, or sunflower seed) was placed on each feeder. We observed the feeders for three weeks, recording the number and species of birds seen as well as weighing the amount of seed that was eaten at each feeder. Our results showed that PHS birds do show a slight preference for food and habitat types. We saw the most birds in the shrub and tree habitat areas. We think that this may be because of the protection that the trees and shrubs offer from predators. Birds ate all food types, but peanuts were the most popular food. Western Scrub Jays were the most common of the nine bird species seen.

Experiment Photo Gallery

Click on an image for a full-size version.

Nathalie and Sabrina dig a hole for a feeder in the open habitat.

Sanjileen adds seed to a feeder and left them alone to allow birds to find them.

Alejandro adds seed to a feeder. We weighed the amount of food that we put in each feeder, then weighed the remaining food several days later.

Joliet and Luis observing — We recorded the number and species of birds present at each feeder during 10-minute observation sessions.

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