Bluebirds Project

blue feather Photos & Movie

blue feather Altricial or Precocial

blue feather Feeding

blue feather Song

blue feather Camouflage

blue feather Winter


blue feather Charting eggs ele

blue feather All about Birds ele/ms

blue feather Collecting data ele/ms

blue feather Compare/Contrast

blue feather Food Web

blue feather Nest Box Log ele/ms/hs

blue feather Life Cycles ele/ms

blue feather Mapping Birds ele/ms/hs

blue feather Variables ele/ms/hs

blue feather Feather Facts ms/hs

blue feather Scientific Thinking ele/ms/hs

blue feather Systems & Controls ms/hs

blue feather Science Journal Entry ms/hs

blue feather Make Puzzle ele/ms/hs

blue feather Ecology Vocabulary ms/hs

blue feather Classification ms/hs

blue feather Resources

spaceBluebird video at NGS

spaceEggs Fact Hunt

spaceBirds Book online

spaceBirds Facts Activity

spaceLearn about Nests


spaceCitizen Science Projects

spaceFields, Meadows EcoUnit

Other Nestbox residents:

spaceTree Swallows

spaceEnglish Sparrow


spaceWren Chicks




Main Bluebirds Project page

Bluebirds Project

blue feather Altricial versus Precocial 

Looking for a meal:

Eastern Bluebird chicks at IS

Notice the dried grasses and pine needles nest.

 The bluebird chicks are altricial. This means they cannot move around on their own upon hatching. They have only a few feathers. They stay in the nest and the parent(s) feed them. Both parents care for their young. The bluebird chicks leave the nest in about 15-18 days.

Precocial chicks are capable of moving almost right away. They leave the nest quickly after hatching. They are covered with a fluffy down. Bobwhite Quail chicks and wood duck ducklings are examples of birds that leave the nest soon after birth.

1. Explore Examples: Underline the correct word.

House wrens are precocial or altricial.

Chickens are precocial or altricial.

Give another example of:

Altricial chicks -

Precocial chicks -


2. How does this compare with mammal newborns?



3. Outside of your bedroom window, a robin has nested in the rhododendron bush. You can see everything and check it each day. One morning you hear peeping.


Make a prediction. If you hear peeping, what do you think you will see?


Check out the photo.

Based on what you have learned about altricial and precocial, this chick is:


4. A teacher tells your mom you are precocious. What does that mean?

Dictionary resource


Worksheet doc.

blue featherOther potential nest box inhabitants:

Tree Swallow / English Sparrow / Wren / Nuthatch / Tufted Titmouse / Chickadee / Bluebirds

BirdSleuth: Investigating Evidence - free materials from Cornell University

Nature / Internet Hunts / Pennsylvania Projects / Puzzles and Projects / Computers / Mrs. O's House / Site Map

2002 Cindy O'Hora, Updated 3/2009, 4/2020 Posted May 2002 address

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

Aligned with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Science & Technology, Reading, Writing, Ecology & Environment, Mathematics

National Educational Technology Standards | National Science Education Standards (NSTA) | National Geography Standards (NCGE)