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The relationship between the size of a bird and its perching behaviorFeatured science projectScience project video


This experiment was conducted to investigate the relationship between the size of a bird and its perching behavior. Specifically, does the size of a bird affect the distance that it puts between itself and another bird, when both are perching on a wire? Crows and house sparrows were used as subjects for this experiment.


The crow, being a larger bird, will put a greater distance between itself and another crow when perching on a wire. The sparrow, being a smaller bird, will put a smaller distance between itself and another sparrow when perching on a wire.

Scientific Terms

Perching, passerine, crows, sparrows


Perching birds

A perching bird is known as a passerine or a song bird. More than 50% of birds are perching birds. Common species of perching birds include the sparrow, the pigeon, the crow and the swallow. These birds sit on power cables, tree branches, lamp posts and fences and. They often sing from their perched positions. Birds tend to take this position when perching: their claws will have 3 forward-pointing and 1 backward pointed "fingers" to grip on to the perch.


Crows are large passerine birds that have a wingspan of between 40cm to 50cm. Normally, crows feed on dead animals and grain. Like parrots, they can imitate human voices. They can also recognize human faces. Crows make a variety of calls or sounds. The type of call crows make depends on their species, and the region and surroundings in which they reside. Crows often cry loudly when they are hungry or when they wish to differentiate their territory from others.


Sparrows are small passerine bids that have a wing span of between 22cm and 25cm. They have brown feathers, a short tail and a strong beak. They are one of the most common wild birds. Sparrows can be found in the city. They may even nest in houses and buildings. Sparrows usually eat seeds and small insects.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
It will take an hour to set up the experiment, and 2 days for observation.
Material availability:
Look for cable lines that birds often perch on
Safety concerns: