Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Forensic Science of Bird Strikes


National Middle School Science Standards

Earth Science, Life Science, Engineering Design

Key Terms

ornithology, forensic science, bird ecology, feather identification, DNA barcoding, birdstrike, snarge

Key Concepts

  • Analysis of bird feathers and snarge 
  • Identifying bird and other animal remains 
  • Value of reference collections in museums
  • Impacts of human activities on ecology 
  • Technology used by forensic ornithologists

Resource Types

A resource marked "♦" is aligned with the Bird Strike in-person school program for Grades 6-12. Learn more about all of our in-person and online School Programs.

Middle School Level

High School Level 

Advanced Reading Level

Vertebrate Zoology Subject Guide Smithsonian Libraries

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

The Forensic Science of Bird Strikes teaching resources support students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations:

Earth Science

MS-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity

  • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

Life Science

MS-LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

  • MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.

  • MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Engineering Design

MS-ETS1 Engineering Design

  • MS-ETS1-1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

  • MS-ETS1-2 Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

  • MS-ETS1-3 Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

Resource Type
Subject Guides
Grade Level
Learning Standards
Next Generation Science Standards
Engineering and Technology, Life Science