View this picture Experiments



Behavior and Survival

Nature Watching


Why do animals do the things they do? In this experiment, you will observe the ways in which animals interact with the environment and with each other.

You will need:

  • peanuts (as needed)
  • birdseed (as needed)
  • birdhouse or birdfeeder (optional)


  1. Place the peanuts outside near trees or on other areas on the ground. Put the birdseed in the birdhouse or birdfeeder and hang it outside. If you are not using a birdhouse or birdfeeder, scatter the birdseed in a small area on the ground.
  2. From a distance, watch local birds and other animals eat the peanuts and birdseed. Be patient while waiting for animals to come. Once they do, take time to watch the animals. Which birds prefer which seeds? Which birds are aggressive and chase other animals away? Do some birds tolerate other birds? Do animals other than birds eat the peanuts and birdseed? Do they tolerate the birds? Do the birds tolerate them?
  3. While observing the birds you can watch other nearby animals, such as a dragonfly or a turtle, interact with the environment. Use careful observation to discover why animals act in certain ways.