Bird Science Program

Bird Science Program Video Lessons Take Flight

The Bird Science Program introduces schoolchildren to the wonders of birds through classroom lessons and a half day field trip. But this brand-new world of ours, with Pasadena Unified Schools closed and children learning remotely through online platforms, we had to reinvent the program, and we did!

A small team has been hard at work reworking the curriculum and imagining video content supplemented by outdoor activities, so that the learning can continue. Professional videographer and editor, Marc Dahm, has donated countless hours to the project, bringing a level of expertise that we’re very lucky to have.

To encourage all children to spend time outdoors, each child at our primary partner school, Washington Elementary STEM Magnet, received a hand lens and a feather. Micah Jaffe, our amazing Project Intern, teaches the kids how to use the hand lens to see the interlocking structure of the feather. Kids are encouraged to explore their surroundings with the hand lens, to see what they can discover.

Enjoy our Kindergarten and fourth grade video lessons below.

Adaptations - Southern California Birds: Beaks and Feet

Can't play the video? Download it here.
Feathers: An Introduction

Can't play the video? Download it here.
Feathers: A Story - Not Just For Flying!

Can't play the video? Download it here.
Feathers: Using A Hand Lens

Can't play the video? Download it here.

In all we've put together 6 levels of lessons, from kindergarten to 5th grade, totaling close to two hours of video instruction. Every lesson has an outdoor activity, like looking for good habitat where migratory birds can refuel. We also took care to include a strong message on conservation. Kathy Degner shares the story of Albie, the fledgling Laysan Albatross, who winds up with a belly full of plastic.

If you are a homeschooling family or a teacher and are interested in using our online curriculum, contact Lois Brunet, Program Director (lbrunetPAS@gmail.com).


Enjoy this video which gives an overview of the program and its goals in our pilot year, April 2019.


Program Goals and Partner Schools

The goal of this program is to bring conservation education to elementary school children in Pasadena Unified School District. By developing an appreciation of our local birds and their habitat, we are building conservation values in these future citizens, so important in these times of climate change.

This enrichment program is currently offered to children in Pasadena, Kindergarten through fifth grade, at two Title 1 public schools: Washington Elementary STEAM Magnet School and Jackson STEM Dual Language Magnet Academy.

Program Design

Our program includes two classroom visits with lessons on birds adhering to the Next Generation Sciences Standards. Some examples of the topics we cover are vocalizations, adaptations to flight, feathers, food chains, and habitat.

We also introduce the children to our local birds, assigning each child “their bird”. As children advance through the program, they will add to their bird knowledge each year.

Each child also benefits from a half day field trip to a local park, Peck Road Water Conservation Park, where they go on a bird walk, interact with educational owls from local wildlife rehab facility, Wing Wings of California, and play nature-based games. All of the activities are designed to build their knowledge of birds and conservation issues and develop a sense of wonder and belonging in the natural world.

Washington 1st graders at their field trip in January 2019



Fantastic bird art by a Jackson 2nd grader



Washington 1st graders studying taxidermy



Washington second grader working on her mallard



Washington fourth grader rocking her "I am a birder" sticker


Lovely thank you card from Jackson 2nd graders who saw Western Grebes do a nupital dance on the lake.






Pasadena Audubon’s Bird Science Program is supported in part with funds received from the Pasadena Tournament of Roses® Foundation.