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This is a fun team activity that also helps teach us about the primary things birds and other animals need to survive! The activity is a great way to exercise and have fun with your friends or family! If you have access to a park or a backyard this is also an amazing way to get fresh air, laugh with others and spend time outside. All of these are good actions for your mental and physical health! It’s not a problem if an outdoor space isn’t available! This activity works very well in a gym or any large indoor space.
This game is modified from the “Tag your Habitat” activity which can be found on BirdSleuth International.
- A group of at least 5 people
- A large open space
- Discuss the essential environmental components a wild bird – or any other animal – needs to survive. These are the basic habitat components: food, water, shelter, and space.
- After discussing about the habitat components assign components to most participants. For example one person can be water and another can be food. Assign only one component per person.
- The rest of the participants are birds. The larger your group the more birds and habitat components you will want to have for the game. For example, if your group has 10 people you would want to start with two birds and two people for each habitat component. For the first round, have four habitat components per bird. If the number of people do not match exactly (four habitat components per bird), have extra habitat components per bird.
- Participants playing the habitat components should act the component, get a label or band so that their component identity is obvious to participants.
- The “birds” will then chase around the “components” trying to catch them.
- Once a “component” has been caught, she/he links arms with the bird and together they chase around the other components.
- When a bird has caught all four components they win the game!
- Optional challenges: Add more birds and see how this changes the game. Another challenge can be adding or removing certain resources (components) and seeing how this would effect the birds survival.
At the end of the activity, the group can share some thoughts and think about ways to help birds in their neighborhood by providing or improving habitat. Some actions could include making bird feeders, growing certain plants, having water available for birds, removing garbage from the neighborhood or placing nest boxes. Notice that the activity shows how important habitat is for birds to have a good life, but habitat components will change depending on the bird species. If you would like to learn more specifically what different kinds of birds need to survive you can start exploring birds local to your area on the Learn the Focal Birds Near Me page or on All About Birds website.
Written by Julia Luna and Ashley Calderon