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Autumn Birds and Project Feederwatch

Autumn Birds and Project Feederwatch

It’s that time of year again when we can start preparing to join the Project Feederwatch program along with many, many other families around North America. I just looked up my data on the website and it says that I’ve participated in the Feederwatch counts for 10 years! It’s an activity that has helped me learn more about my local birds in a way that is fun and useful to the community.

Mockingbird Dece 2015

What is Project Feederwatch? You can read more on their website here: Project Feederwatch 2021-2022. This year the counting season starts on November 13, 2021 and ends on April 30, 2022.

Project Feederwatch tally sheet

You can participate as much or as little as you desire. It only takes a few minutes on two consecutive days each week to participate. If you miss a week, that’s okay too…just pick up when you can.

Watch a video on how to get started.

The additional video below shows how this really is something everyone can participate in, even with young children.

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I love weaving a citizen science project like this into our lives. We have several feeders we can see from our windows and keeping them filled with seed is easy. Those feeders become the focal point of our bird observations because for Feederwatch you only count birds that come to eat.

chickadee at the feeder

Project Feederwatch is a perfect match for our lifestyle. It’s something that I can participate in that doesn’t take a huge commitment of time and I can do it right from my own home, even if I’m wearing my pajamas.

You may be interested in following my Nature Study – Birds Pinterest board!

Learning About Birds 3D coverDon’t forget about the Outdoor Hour Challenge – Learning About Birds ebook that is available to both Ultimate and Journey level members.

 

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Signs of Autumn Reminders and Printable

Signs of Autumn Reminders and Printable

Are you looking for ideas for some simple autumn nature study ideas? In this post you’ll find many ideas from the archives here on the Handbook of Nature Study. Please pick the ideas that get you excited to be outdoors this season with your children. You many wish to make a note in your planner to accomplish several of these ideas for the next few months.

Signs of Autumn Notebook Page

You can use the Signs of Autumn notebook page to record your observations or you can use your own nature journal.

Some signs to look for:

  • Dry grass and weeds
  • Seeds
  • Wildflowers-thistles, goldenrod
  • Birds eating at feeders or flying overhead to migrate
  • Chilly morning temperatures or dew on the grass
  • Fruit ripe on trees
  • Insects or webs
  • Nuts, acorns, or berries
  • Clouds and wind

Yhttps://naturestudyhomeschool.com/2012/07/for-love-of-trees-year-long-tree-study.html/

For families that are completing yearlong studies as part of their nature study plan, you’ll find links below to ideas for subjects. You can start now in autumn and make observations over the next year of your chosen topic. Our family has greatly benefited from following a subject over the course of a complete year, making seasonal observations as we go.

Here are some ideas from year-long nature study topics we’ve done in the past:

 

Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Nature Study Ideas Index @handbookofnaturestudy

If you’re not a member here on the Handbook of Nature Study yet, please consider joining to gain the benefit of having a nature study library at your fingertips. There are numerous resources available for you to help create the habit of nature study within your family.

Please note that the Ultimate Naturalist Library will only be available until 12/31/2021. At that time my website will be shutting down.

 Autumn Nature Study Ebooks graphic

If you’re an email subscriber to the Handbook of Nature Study, you may consider saving this email in a folder for future reference. The blog will be retiring at the end of the year as well.

 Handbook of Nature Study Subscribe Now 2

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Autumn Ebook Promotion – Perfect Season in Nature

Autumn Nature Study

Autumn Ebooks!

It won’t be long until it will be time for some awesome autumn nature study! Members here on the Handbook of Nature Study can look in their Member’s Library for the five autumn themed ebooks available for downloading.

 

Autumn Nature Study Ebooks graphic

I’ll list the autumn themed ebooks below and if you want to click over to see the specific topics covered, you can easily do that by clicking the book title.

Autumn Nature Study Ebooks Available

1)      Autumn 2009  – Download the free notebook pages to go along with the autumn nature study ideas.

2)      Autumn 2010

3)      Autumn Nature Study Continues

4)      More Nature Study – Autumn

5)      Autumn 2015

If you are new to the Outdoor Hour Challenge and would like to purchase a membership, you can click the graphic at the bottom of this post. Don’t miss the discount code!

Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Nature Study Ideas Index @handbookofnaturestudy

For a complete list of autumn season nature study topics, you can click the Autumn tab at the top of the website.

Use the discount code AUTUMNFUN2021 for $5 off your Ultimate Naturalist Library membership. Code will expire on 9/17/2021.

 

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

If you’d like to have access to all of the autumn ebooks, you’ll find them all in the Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.

 

Please note:

This is the last autumn season that the ebooks will be available here on the website. If you are a member, please download and save the ebooks for future use!

 

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Rock Study: Calcite, Limestone, Marble Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Rock Study: Calcite, Limestone, Marble Nature Study

Most families that have been taking time for nature study have no doubt started an official or unofficial rock collection. I know when my boys were young, they would fill my pockets with rock treasures on our nature walks and then insist I take them home for our nature table. So many rocks!

rock collection in jars
I must admit that I still collect rocks! You may wish to read this entry that shares 5 ways to organize rock collections: 5 Ways to Display Rock Collections.

Use this week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge to learn a bit about rocks that you may already have in your collection. Or use the information and videos in the original challenge to build enthusiasm for a rock hunt soon.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Rock Study Marble Calcite Limestone @handbookofnaturestudy

View the original challenge here: Outdoor Hour Challenge – Calcite, Limestone, Marble.

Rock Study Up close Notebook page

If you have access to the ebook, there is a general rock activity on page 39 that everyone can use: Rocks Up Close printable. Take this notebook page along with you this week during your Outdoor Hour Challenge and see how many things you can find.

Newsletter Resources: Members also have access to the two newsletters in the archives that feature rock nature studies: January 2013 and February 2016.

Under a Rock Notebook Page

Alternate Study: Members can download and print the Under a Rock Notebook Page. Find a rock, turn it over and then observe what you can find underneath. This is a fun activity with or without the notebook page.

Handbook of Nature Study Autumn Nature Study 2015 Cover Image

Sample to view: Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Nature Study 2015 Sample Pages

If you don’t have a membership yet, click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 26 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!

Topics in this ebook include:

  • Swallows and swifts
  • Catfish
  • Jewelweed
  • Prickly lettuce
  • Cockroach
  • Field horsetail
  • Catbird
  • Calcite, limestone, marble
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Hedgehog fungi
  • Sapsucker
  • Brooks

  Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

 

 

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New Member’s Printables Available- Fungi Photo Hunt and Autumn Changes

Now available in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships:

1. Fungi Photo Hunt: Download and print this activity for your family to use as part of a fungi hunt. The suggestions on the printable will help guide your family on a fascinating and fun nature study featuring fungi of all kinds. Our family recently took a fungi hike and we found five different kinds to take photos of and we are anxious to go again soon!

2. Autumn Changes Notebook Page: Autumn is a perfect time for your family to get outside and note the changes you see and then follow up with a nature journal page. Autumn provides plenty of colorful and interesting things to observe and sketch for this notebook page.

Fungi Photo Hunt Notebook Page

Autumn Changes Know Your Own Backyard Notebook Page

(See the end of this post for more information on how you can become a member.)

Printables for Members Button

Print a complete list of printables available in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships by clicking the button above.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist January 2020

November 2020 Planner Page image

Members also have access to the Nature Planner pages in their library.

Print out this month’s page and use it to stimulate your weekly nature study time.

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Outdoor Hour Challenge- Autumn Prickly Lettuce Nature Study

We had a rather large crop of prickly lettuce in our yard this summer, so I can say from firsthand experience that it’s an interesting topic for a nature study lesson. Do you have a child that likes to use a compass? The lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study suggests using your compass as part of your observation of the prickly lettuce plant.

Prickly Lettuce wildflower weed outdoor hour challenge (1)

The prickly lettuce is also a great subject for a lesson on thorns, spines, and prickles. Make sure to observe the prickles and talk about how this protects the plant from being eaten by animals.

Prickly Lettuce wildflower weed outdoor hour challenge (4)

Outdoor Hour Challenge Prickly Lettuce @handbookofnaturestudy

View the original challenge here: Outdoor Hour Challenge – Prickly Lettuce. 

Prickly Lettuce Notebook Page 1

Prickly Lettuce Notebook Page 2

If you have access to the ebook, there are two notebook pages to choose from for your nature journal.

Prickly Lettuce wildflower weed outdoor hour challenge (3)

Alternate study: Look for the idea posted earlier this month for Creating a Weed Bouquet.

Handbook of Nature Study Autumn Nature Study 2015 Cover Image

Sample to view: Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Nature Study 2015 Sample Pages

If you don’t have a membership yet, click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 26 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!

Topics in this ebook include:

  • Swallows and swifts
  • Catfish
  • Jewelweed
  • Prickly lettuce
  • Cockroach
  • Field horsetail
  • Catbird
  • Calcite, limestone, marble
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Hedgehog fungi
  • Sapsucker
  • Brooks

 

 

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

 

 

 

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Autumn Wildflower Study: Milkweed Observations

Alternate Autumn Wildflower Study

Autumn Milkweed Observations

 

Many families live in areas where you can readily find milkweed growing. Autumn is a fantastic season to start a milkweed study because the pods and seeds are so amazing and fascinating to most of us.

Milkweed+Seeds+autumn.jpgYou can use this link to see our Autumn Milkweed Study from a few years ago.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Milkweed Study @handbookofnaturestudy

The original Outdoor Hour Challenge for the autumn milkweed study is found here: Outdoor Hour Challenge – Milkweed.

More Nature Study Autumn Cover imageAs an added bonus, the sample challenge from the More Nature Study – Autumn ebook is the milkweed study.  You can take a look at what the challenge looks like in the ebook by downloading the sample.

>>>>>>Milkweed Challenge with notebook pages and a coloring page.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

All ebooks referenced above are included in an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.

This is a perfect time to purchase a membership for your upcoming school year.

Benefits by Level graphic  26 ebooks

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Outdoor Hour Challenge -Autumn Jewelweed Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Jewelweed Nature Study

What makes the jewelweed plant so special? A hint is found in its other common name, touch-me-not. With just a touch, the jewelweed catapults its seeds out for dispersal! Would you like to see a video? Here is a link: Jewelweed Pods Exploding.

Use the lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study (Lesson 134) and the Outdoor Hour Challenge in the Autumn Ebook to learn about this interesting, beautiful, and useful plant that you may have growing in your area.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Jewelweed @handbookofnaturestudy. Use these ideas and links to look at a wildflower.View the original challenge here: Outdoor Hour Challenge – Jewelweed.

 

If you have access to the ebook, there are two notebook pages to choose from for your nature journal.

Jewelweed notebook page 1

Jewelweed notebook page 2

Alternate study: You can complete a Weeds and Seeds challenge instead.

Handbook of Nature Study Autumn Nature Study 2015 Cover Image

Sample to view: Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Nature Study 2015 Sample Pages

If you don’t have a membership yet, click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 26 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!

Topics in this ebook include:

  • Swallows and swifts
  • Catfish
  • Jewelweed
  • Prickly lettuce
  • Cockroach
  • Field horsetail
  • Catbird
  • Calcite, limestone, marble
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Hedgehog fungi
  • Sapsucker
  • Brooks

 

 

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

 

If you have a membership, you may also look at additional wildflower ebooks available in the Ultimate Naturalist Library.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Set 1 Ebook

OHC Wildflower Set 2 @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower 3 Covermaker

 

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Autumn Weed Bouquet -Creating a Bouquet of Weeds, Flowers, and Grasses

Sitting on my desk is a small vase of flowers I collected a few weeks ago. Although they’re all dried up now, they are a fond reminder of an afternoon spent walking and collecting a few blooming things with my daughter.

weed bouquet wildflowers autumn outdoor hour challenge (2)

This inspires me to share an idea with you readers. Why not go out on a crisp autumn day and collect a few flowers, weeds, and grasses from your neighborhood to enjoy in a vase?

Creating a Weed Bouquet graphic

Here’s a link to a post in my archives that will give you some inspiration: Weed Bouquets and Autumn Time.

weed bouquet wildflowers autumn outdoor hour challenge (1)

Please feel free to use this idea as an alternate study to any of the autumn wildflower studies we have coming up (jewelweed and prickly lettuce).

Autumn Nature Study Ebooks graphic

Please check out all of the autumn themed ebooks available here on the Handbook of Nature Study.

Click the graphic above to view all of the topics covered.

 

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Outdoor Hour Challenge: Autumn Brook Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Brook Nature Study

It may take a bit of research but it is entirely worth the effort to find a small brook or creek that your family can visit frequently as part of a yearlong brook nature study.

Creek brook nature study

Our family found that on homeschool days that went awry, a little jaunt to the creek always cleared up the bad moods and attitudes. Combine your visit to the brook with a few observations and use the pages in the Handbook of Nature Study in Lessons 207 and 208 along with the Outdoor Hour Challenge to really get to know the geology and the living things in your brook.

“The best time to study a brook is after a rain, and October or May is an interesting time for beginning this lesson. The work should be continued during the entire year.”

Handbook of Nature Study Lesson 207

Your frequent visits may lead to many questions that can be answered over time about the water, rocks, plants, birds, and other animals that inhabit this pleasant ecosystem.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Brook Nature Study @handbookofnaturestudyView the original challenge here: Outdoor Hour Challenge – Brook Nature Study.

Seasonal Brook Observations notebook pageYear Long Brook Nature Journal notebook page

If you have access to the ebook, there are two notebook pages to choose from for your nature journal. One of the notebook pages can be used in each season to record your observations and the other is a more advanced style notebook page where your child can record a more thorough report of what they observed and learned about the way a brook is part of the larger ecosystem.

Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter February 2016 cover

Members can use page 4 of the February 2016 newsletter that outlines a four seasons creek study. Page 5 of that same newsletter has a printable creek study nature journal page.

Handbook of Nature Study Autumn Nature Study 2015 Cover Image

Sample to view: Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Nature Study 2015 Sample Pages

If you don’t have a membership yet, click the graphic above and join today for immediate access to the 26 ebooks and so much more! Remember that all levels, even the Discovery level membership, include access to all of the archived newsletters!

Topics in this ebook include:

  • Swallows and swifts
  • Catfish
  • Jewelweed
  • Prickly lettuce
  • Cockroach
  • Field horsetail
  • Catbird
  • Calcite, limestone, marble
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Hedgehog fungi
  • Sapsucker
  • Brooks

 

 

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020