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Outdoor Hour Challenge: Birds-Crow, Red-Winged Blackbird, Starling, and Cowbird

Outdoor Hour Challenge Birds #6
Crow and Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird and Starling

Inside Preparation Work:
1. Read the Handbook of Nature Study pages 117-119 about the red-winged blackbird and pages 124-127 about the crow. Read the suggested pages and then prepare you children to observe these birds the next time they have a chance.

2. Read in the Handbook of Nature Study the section on bird’s eyes and ears on page 38. The suggestions for observation include questions that you can apply to any bird you see during your outdoor time during your bird study.

3. Read in Backyard Birds pages 28-35 on black birds: Crow, Red-winged blackbird, Brown-headed cowbird, and the Starling.

4. Peterson Field Guide: Look up and read about the crow, the red-winged blackbird, the brown-headed cowbird, and the starling. Use the guide to determine the color of each bird’s eye this week.

Here is a video I found that shows how crows have learned to do an amazing thing. I am amazed, but I am always in awe of what our Creator has made.

Here is the link if you need to click over to Amazing Crow

Outdoor Hour Time:
For this challenge you should plan on spending your 10-15 minutes of outdoor time enjoying your own neighborhood if possible. Look for places that you might find different birds to observe. We found a great pond not too far from our house in the back of our city park. It is home to a number of ducks and geese. Maybe you have a place that you can find to visit frequently to get to know the particular birds that make that spot their home for at least part of the year.

This week challenge yourself to make some observations of a bird’s eye. It is hard to get close enough to most birds to see their eyes but perhaps you can find a duck, goose, or chicken to complete the suggested observations from the Handbook of Nature Study on page 38.

Just for Fun
Some children like to keep detailed records of what birds and how many birds they see. You might think about taking a small notepad and pencil for your child to tally the birds seen during your outdoor time. This can be a simple list of birds seen and then a tally after each bird showing the grand total of that particular bird seen. Keep this activity fun and continue as long as your child is interested.

Follow Up Activity for the Crow, the Red-winged Blackbird, the Starling, and the Cowbird
Complete nature journal pages for any of the birds in this challenge that you found particularly interesting. You can complete pages for the birds you directly observed and save the rest for future birding experiences if you wish. If you were able to observe the bird’s eye, make sure to sketch that into your nature journal as well. You can use the questions in the lesson on the bird’s eyes and ears found on page 38 of the Handbook of Nature Study.

Follow Up Activity For Other Birds Observed:
If you are using the bird pages from (shown below), you can complete a page for the eyes and ears of a bird. Make a nature journal page for one new bird that you observed this week. You can also use your Peterson Field Guide to help identify your bird.

Also I am highly recommending that you purchase the Bird Bundle from as a great supplement to your study of birds using the Outdoor Hour Challenge. Note: These are affiliate links.

All About Birds Basic Study Notebooking Pages
Birds of North America Notebooking Pages

Use code discount5 to save $5 on any purchase $10 or more from the Shop. (This does not include membership purchases.)

5 thoughts on “Outdoor Hour Challenge: Birds-Crow, Red-Winged Blackbird, Starling, and Cowbird

  1. Once again, our post includes other birds and other parts of our school day, hope that’s alright! We see red-winged blackbirds all the time here in KS, on the fenceposts along the highway, so this will be a good study for us!

  2. Dana,

    Excellent post. Love it!


  3. My 5-year-old got the giggles while watching the video. Our current issue with the starlings is trying to keep them from eating all the cat food on our patio. But we all agree that they are quite lovely up close. We recently found it is is legal to collect starling feathers in the U.S. (unlike most other bird feathers).

  4. So I didn’t really follow directions but if you read down my post, you’ll see it’s genetic. Loving the sounds on the blog!!

  5. So years later, I’m adding my link. 😉 By the way, that video is no longer working. I remember seeing it when you posted it way back, but thought you might want to know.

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