Words about Birds! Research and Exploration.


Hello fellow Explorers! You will embark on the mission to learn more about birds in your neighbourhood. Most of all you will familiarize yourself with vocabulary connected with this topic and share your knowledge with other classmates! How many species do you know?  Did you know that crows and seagulls are omnivorous?  Are you aware that even at this very moment there might be a little falcon flying by? Do you happen to know its name? After completing this WebQuest you will know this and many more facts about birds that live in your vicinity.

As an introduction to this Topic check out these links before continuing

http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/page-birds-gardens.html (Read introduction)       

http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/page-birds-of-prey.html  (Read introduction)

Below are very short movies about Polish species please watch them they are really well done  :)         


(Ptaki. Wiosna, woj. lubuskie, Część 1 / Birds. Spring. NW Poland. Part 1) 


(Ptaki. Wiosna, woj. lubuskie, Część 2 / Birds. Spring. NW Poland. Part 2)


(Ptaki. Wiosna, woj. lubuskie, Część 3 / Birds. Spring. NW Poland. Part 3


There are two phases of this quest. It will last five weeks. First one is theoretical and the other practical. For the practical part you will get away from your computers and go exploring your neighbourhood for search of birds! At the end of each phase you will be making and presenting to the whole class a Power Point presentation. During the whole Quest keep an eye out for fancy words. Words that an ornithologist or biologist would say, like for example omnivorous, carnivore or plumage. As you write your presentation collect those words or expressions and make a glossary. First you do the research and make the presentation, later you present your findings and teach your fellow classmates what you have learned. Good luck!!


Phase one – theoretical part 

Each of you is to choose two birds from the below list and make a Power Point presentation about them. As the group confirm who chooses what bird, no repetitions allowed! The more information you include the better. Note that each bird name is followed by the Latin name. It is very useful when identifying animal species. Be careful! American names can be different from British. Fortunately, the Latin name stays the same. So, always check if the Latin name is the same when searching the internet for information about a specific species of animal.

Hooded crow (Corvus cornix)

Common raven (Corvus corax)

Common magpie (Pica pica)

Western jackdaw (Coloeus monedula)

Eurasian collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto))  

Rock pigeon (Columba livia)

House sparrow (Passer domesticus)

European robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Common starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

Common blackbird ((Turdus merula)

Great tit (Parus major)

Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)

Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

Common buzzard (Buteo buteo)

Western osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

White-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

Western marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

Black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

European herring gull (Larus argentatus)

Common house martin (Delichon urbicum)

Common swift (Apus apus)

Mute swan (Cygnus olor)

Grey heron (Grey heron)

Great cormorant  (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo)  

Barn owl (Tyto alba)

White stork (Ciconia ciconia)

Black stork (Ciconia nigra)

Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

European green woodpecker (Picus viridis)

Black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)

Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

The aim of this task is to introduce you to this topic and specific vocabulary. After choosing your birds read about them online, using the sources listed below. Keep an eye for fancy words. Words that an ornithologist or biologist would say,  like for example omnivorous, carnivore or plumage. As you write your presentation collect those words or expressions and make a glossary on a side. When you finish your presentation put the glossary at the end. This is the most important part of this assignment!          

Please use those pages:

http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/page-birds-gardens.html   (species listed below introduction)

http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/page-birds-of-prey.html  (species listed below introduction)  

https://ebird.org/explore (Top right corner - choose English if it’s not default) 

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/ (They have mostly American species so be careful, you can also write about American cousin of your birds too. I recommend the Cool Facts section.

Wikipedia – for additional information (Be careful! As anyone can edit wikipedia, check if each piece of information that you want to use from there is backed up by creditable source)   

Now that you have read about your chosen birds, skim through the pages below and think which words or expressions additionally you can use in your presentation. Be creative! The more you use the better!    







https://www.allaboutbirds.org/what-is-the-difference-between-a-beak-and-a-bill/  (I think you may wonder about that)

You don’t have to limit your research to those sites (include everything in the sources), just remember to write in bold every fancy word or expression about birds or animals in general.  

Put your glossary at the end your presentation. Include all those fancy words. How you make your presentation and how many words you include it is up to you, so be creative!  

Additionally make a quizlet with items from your glossary use this site.

https://quizlet.com You can log in easily with your facebook account! E-mail me links to your Quizlets after you’ve done them.           

You will be presenting in two weeks’ time during class. As you present you will ask your classmates if they know those words or expressions or guess their meaning from the context of the sentence. If they don’t - explain.

Good luck!!


Phase 2 - the field trip 

Now that you have gained some experience. You are going on a field trip to find out what species of birds are there in your neighborhood. The recommended minimum duration of this adventure is 2,5 hours. You will be collecting data for your final presentation.

Mini Presentations – Each of you is to make similar presentation to the one that you did at the beginning about two birds that you spotted during the trip. Use the same pages as before and make a glossary and a quizlet too. Send your Mini Presentations to the Presentation Expert. He or she will add all the data together and make one final presentation. You must agree with one another how you will do it. E-mail me links to your quizlets when you've done.

Choose your roles!        

Researcher/Leader of the group – your role as the leader will be to analyze the map of your city and decide where your group will be going for the trip. As a leader you will have to agree with your team when this trip will take place. Observe weather forecasts and try to choose a sunny day. Make it as interesting as possible. Note the time the trip starts and ends, what are the weather conditions. As the Researcher you will identify birds and make notes for the final presentation. Note what birds are doing - describe it. Work closely with the Spotter and the Photographer. After the trip assign two birds you spotted during the trip to each member including yourself. Try to choose different species from those you chose for your first presentations!                  

Spotter – your role will be to spot birds during the trip. It is your job to find as many birds as possible and show them to the Photographer. You don’t have to know what kind of bird it is - just spot it for the group and do not scare them off. No sudden movements! You are responsible for number of birds in total in your final presentation.     

Photographer – Grab a camera and take photos and record videos. Work closely with the Spotter and shoot as many pictures as you can. Try to capture what birds are doing. Most birds in cities are used to people but be cautious not to scare them anyway. Take pictures from different angles if possible. Additionally take pictures (or record videos) of your team as they work and of places you go to. You will be responsible for pictures and videos. 

Presentation Expert – During the trip help other members of your team. Think how to present your trip using Microsoft Power Point. Make suggestions to the photographer. After the trip you will collect all the data (photos, videos, names of the birds you encountered, the notes from the leader and the Mini Presentations from other team members) and make the final presentation. You will be presenting this presentation to the whole class. Each person must talk briefly about what they did during the trip so think how to organize your presentation to include this part. Remember to include the glossary at the end. How you make it - it is up to you!

To all members: Note how many species will you encounter. Make list of them. Include all the pictures that the Photographer was able to take (and videos). Note the place of the encounter. Which birds were more scared of people and which were less scared? why do you think it is so? While exploring our city keep an eye out for a falcon. If you manage to spot this one please include it in the presentation. If not try to guess which one I mean. The Presentation Expert will make the final presentation using all the data you collect. During the presentation each member will briefly talk about their role and present their Mini Presentation. Make interesting pictures. Make it fun! You have three weeks to prepare your final presentation. I suggest you make your trip quite timely to give the Presentation Expert some time to prepare the presentation.              

Good luck!!



I've made a speial rubric for your evaluation here is the link    https://ibb.co/mtSg6ys 


After completing this WebQuest, you should  be familiar with species of birds that live your own neighbourhood. You will also gain knowledge about specific vocabulary connected with birds and other animals, be able to recognise birds and also gain some experience in teaching. I hope you’ve enjoyed the whole experience. If you have any suggestions for similar WebQuests or how to improve this one do not hesitate to inform me.


This WebQuest was written by Łukasz Gębalski. I study English philology and this project is part of my thesis.