Life-sized Silhouettes

The information below was compiled by high school students in the North Mason School District as part of a class project.

The NatureMapping students of the Hood Canal Institute in Washington state created life-sized silhouettes at the Theler Wetlands. These North Mason High School students were looking for a way to assist all wetland visitors in identifying the birds and mammals of the region. The are made of durable, recycled x-ray film. The students have created 3 sets of life-sized silhouettes. Here is some information the students compiled as part of this project:

Bird and Mammal Silhouettes provide a quick, life-sized reference for some common birds with identifiable physical characteristics. One of the first clues to bird identification is size. These silhouettes give a real-life reference. Recognizing a crown, a forked tail or posture of a correctly sized bird helps to create confidence by building the correct image.

Search Image
When placed or displayed in a location that mimics the behavior of the bird, you are creating the correct search image. For example, with similar sized birds, you are likely to find a Junco on the ground, a Chickadee within the tree branches, and a Nuthatch in a head-down position on the bark of a tree. For similar sized mammals, you are likely to find a [woodchuck] on the ground, and a gray squirrel up in a tree.

Field Guides
Field guides provide references to important diagnostic features, range, behavior and song/call. These silhouettes are designed as learning tools to be used in conjunction with field guides.

How to Order

Here's how you can order your own sets, for use at home or in the classroom:

Bufflehead, Grebe, Mallard, Pintail, Kingfisher, Jay (w/crest), Robin, Waxwing, Crow.
Cost: $10.00

Barn Swallow, Swallow spp., Junco, Chickadee, Woodpeckers (Downy/Hairy, Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Screech Owl, Great-horned Owl.
Cost: $10.00

Douglas Squirrel, Red Squirrel, Rabbit spp., Gray Squirrel, Pica, Beaver, Mouse spp., Mole spp., Chipmunk spp., Weasel spp., Vole spp.
Cost: $10.00

Please add $4.00 for postage with your order.

Make checks payable to Hood Canal Institute.

Mail order to:

Sihouettes c/o Hood Canal Institute
North Mason School District
200 E. Campus Drive
Belfair, WA 98528

Please include where to send the order to:


Contact: Karen Lippy (360-275-0846) or Dan Hannafious (360-275-2011)


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