A group of birds migrating together during the winter season

Birds Flocking and Migration

Grade 3

Birds rarely stay in the same location for a full year. Groups of birds typically make long flights together during seasonal changes, a process known as migration. But why do these birds group together in order to migrate? Why do they travel in flocks and not alone? We will address the answer to these questions in this lesson.


Teacher's Guide and Related Standards


I can explain why birds form groups when they migrate.

Essential Questions

  • Why do birds and other animals often form groups?
  • What advantages do birds get from flocking and migrating together?

Maryland Farm & Harvest Clip

Thinking questions:

  • Besides birds, what other organisms group together and migrate?
  • Why do animals, like birds, migrate?
  • Why do many groups of birds stop at Jug Bay in Maryland on their migration journey?


Supplemental Enrichment Activities

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Ready Jet Go! - Bird Migration

Upon playing the video, students will understand the reason why birds migrate for the winter. Have students complete a Journal Write in which they make a claim and use evidence from the video to explain why birds migrate during seasonal changes.

» Go to Video

Social Interactions and Group Behavior

Why Birds Flock Together

Have students read the information and watch the video about birds being in groups (flocks). Students should understand the following reasons why birds form groups:

  • Safety in numbers (protection from predators)
  • Faster food foraging
  • To handle changing wind patterns when in flight

    » Go to Website

    Cause and Effect

    Bird Migration - A Perilous Journey

    Before watching the video, pose the question: “What effects do landscaping development and habitat destruction have on migrating birds?”

    Guide students to understand that with changing landscapes, birds will be less likely to survive migrations.

    Relate this concept to Jug Bay, from the Outdoors Maryland video. What would happen to birds that typically “refuel” at Jug Bay if the environment were to disappear or be destroyed?

    » Go to Video

    Career Connections


    This learning resource is a production of Maryland Public Television/Thinkport.