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Great Backyard Bird Count Homeschool Resources: Everything You Need!

Are you ready? Enjoy these Great Backyard Bird Count Homeschool Resources as you watch birds in your backyard this February!

Are you ready? Enjoy these Great Backyard Bird Count Homeschool Resources as you watch birds in your backyard this February!

The Great Backyard Bird Count: An Overview

Let’s start with the basics!

What Is The Great Backyard Bird Count?

Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these four days we invite people to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them to us. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.

Birdcount.org

When Is The Great Backyard Bird Count?

Each February. This event has been going strong for 25 years!

Who Can Participate In The Great Backyard Bird Count?

Anyone in the world!

How Can My Family Be A Part Of It?

Count birds in your yard and at your feeders. Report the data to the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Need more information? Visit the Great Backyard Bird Count website for printables and more.

Great Backyard Bird Count Homeschool Resources

 

 

Top Ten Birds Reported in the Great Backyard Bird Count

Great Place to Start for Beginners

 This is a great beginner’s list of birds to know and be able to identify. Use the links above to take a peek at these common birds that may be visitors to your neighborhood. Make sure to scroll down to the “similar species” section for each bird and that will give you additional birds to look for if you don’t have that particular bird in your neighborhood. Also, reading the “Backyard Tips” and “Find This Bird” sections will give you some clues and hints for actually viewing this bird in person.

  1. Northern Cardinal
  2. Mourning Dove
  3. Dark Eyed Junco
  4. Downy Woodpecker
  5. American Crow
  6. House Finch
  7. American Goldfinch
  8. Blue Jay
  9. Black Capped Chickadee
  10. Tufted Titmouse
Are you ready? Enjoy these Great Backyard Bird Count Homeschool Resources as you watch birds in your backyard this February!

Download and save the Cornell Feeder Bird coloring book. This book has many of the most common birds you will see in your backyard and it makes a perfect complement to your family’s bird nature study.

A Homeschool Bird Study with Chalk Pastels by Erin – A chalk pastels bird study with Nana is a wonderful way to introduce bird art lessons in your homeschool. Chalk pastels are perfect for preschoolers to adults. They are super easy to use with no long art supply list needed. You’ll love adding these vibrant birds to your next homeschool nature study or in preparation for the Great Backyard Bird Count!

Are you ready? Enjoy these Great Backyard Bird Count Homeschool Resources as you watch birds in your backyard this February!

The Great Backyard Bird Count Homeschool by Heather – It’s that time of the year when citizen scientists everywhere are gearing up for the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). It’s easy to participate and the bird count is a great way to contribute to actual data being used by ornithologists. You can have a Great Backyard Bird Count Homeschool!

All of the birds homeschool nature study resources listed are available as an Outdoor Hour Challenge in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. If you have a membership, you will be able to pull up the Outdoor Hour Challenge curriculum and print any notebook pages, coloring pages, or other printables for your birds nature study.

Join The Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Year Round Support

Can you believe all of these bird resources you will find in membership? You will also find a continuing series on bird nature study, bird watching and attracting birds plus all the Outdoor Hour Challenges for nature study in our Homeschool Nature Study membership. There are 25+ continuing courses with matching Outdoor Hour curriculum that will bring the Handbook of Nature Study to life in your homeschool! In addition, there is an interactive monthly calendar with daily nature study prompt – all at your fingertips!

Our family is going to be counting in the Great Backyard Bird Count! Be sure to share on social media and tag @outdoorhourchallenge on Instagram or Homeschool Nature Study on Facebook with your results too!

Are you ready? Enjoy these Great Backyard Bird Count Homeschool Resources as you watch birds in your backyard this February!

-First published by Barb February 2020 and updated by Tricia January 2022

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Winter Bird Homeschool Nature Study: Your Resident Winter Birds

Winter bird-watching can be rewarding! Even when the landscape is covered in snow or ice or mud, there are always birds that will come to visit if you create a little bird-friendly habitat with some seeds, suet, and freshwater. You can observe birds right from your window if the weather isn’t friendly. Or, if you have the right conditions, take a bird walk in a nearby wood. Winter is an amazing time to stroll your neighborhood looking for resident or visiting birds.

OHC Winter Bird Study – Looking at your resident winter birds.

This Week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge: Winter Bird Study

In addition to just enjoying your local birds, this week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge helps you to learn a little bit about bird migration using the information in the Handbook of Nature Study and a couple of online resources. Click over to the original challenge and see how easy this nature study can be for your family.

I’m enjoying Project Feederwatch which helps keep me motivated to look for birds at my own feeder. Use this challenge as a way to motivate your family to look for birds during the winter months.

Winter Bird Nature Study Handbook of Nature Study pages 35-37

Make sure to note the links and additional resources suggested for your tree study.

Check the Handbook of Nature Study index for the bird you observe this week or use the bird tab at the top of my website to see if there is an archived Outdoor Hour Challenge for you to use in your study.

Winter Bird Nature Study Handbook of Nature Study pages 35-37

Additional Ideas For Homeschool Bird Study

Download and save the Cornell Feeder Bird coloring book. This book has many of the most common birds you will see in your backyard and it makes a perfect complement to your family’s bird nature study.

Earlier this year I wrote about the book Birds, Nests, and Eggs as part of the Nature Book Club. You may wish to click over and read that entry and use the printables available in that entry for additional study.

OHC Winter Bird Study – Looking at your resident winter birds.

Please note this challenge is found in the Winter Series course available to our members. Log into your membership to download the Handbook of Nature Study Winter curriculum. There is a custom notebook page for this challenge included in the nature curriculum.

You can find even more winter bird nature study ideas in the Learning About Birds curriculum from the Outdoor Hour Challenge. This nature curriculum is available in membership.

Join The Homeschool Nature Study Membership

Our nature members have access to all the curriculum books, an interactive calendar and a brand new, weekly Outdoor Hour Challenge post each week.

An image showing the full collection of Nature Study courses

Connect With Our Homeschool Community On Social Media

Did you enjoy this Outdoor Hour Challenge on the chickadee? Be sure to tag us on Instagram @outdoorhourchallenge and use the hashtag #outdoorhourchallenge so we can see and comment!

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Great Backyard Bird Count Results from Central Oregon

Great Backyard Bird Count

Results from Central Oregon

February 12-14, 2021

We had a fun time counting birds for the project even though we had snow two of the three days and temperatures down into the teens. We had far fewer birds than the last two years. 2021 has turned out to be a surprising year of crazy ups and downs as far as the weather here in Central Oregon. I think this influenced the bird count.

Eurasian collared dove   5

Mourning dove                 3

Downy woodpecker       1

Hairy woodpecker           1

Mountain chickadee       6

Pygmy nuthatch               3

House finch                        11

Dark-eyed junco               3

Northern flicker                1

Song sparrow                     1

Common raven                 1

Here’s a video sharing the GBBC’s results for 2021.

You can read the results and see more images at this link: Great Backyard Bird Count 2021 Results.

 Did you count birds? Anything exciting show up to be included in your count?

 

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Nature Goals 2021: 1st Quarter Update

Nature Goals 2021

1st Quarter Update

Nature Study Goals 2021

In the original 2021 nature goals entry, I talked a lot about the process of making goals and then refining goals as you saw the need. Here were the steps:

  • Be flexible.
  • Review your goals periodically.
  • Break larger goals into smaller steps.
  • Make a reasonable list.
  • Create achievable goals.

If you’d like to read the complete entry with all of the suggestions, you can click here: Nature Study Goals 2021.

One way that I review my goals and how I’m doing, is to reflect back at the end of each quarter to see how things are going. You can read the goals for the year in the entry linked above. I will give you a little update for each goal below.

garden prep april 2021
We have cleaned up the boxes and made sure the drip watering system is ready to go for seed sowing. Probably going to wait until May 1st to get seeds started.

Backyard Habitat development:  We just started working in the garden in the past few weeks. But, I have on paper a lot of ideas we want to implement this year. For the first quarter we made plans, ordered seeds, and spent time observing what was already working as far as supporting the local wildlife. This quarter will be the heavy lifting aspects of creating more wildlife friendly habitat. If this is something you are interested in doing for your family, you can read my entry: Creating a Wildlife Habitat in Your Own Backyard.

Painted Hills March 2021
Look for an entry in May that reveals our day trip to the Painted Hills.

Local Hikes: We found new places to hike even in the winter as part of this local hikes goal. There are several places along the Deschutes River that are accessible to hiking in the winter. We chose sunny days to explore Sawyer Park and Steelhead Falls. We drove out to the Painted Hills for a day hike with some of the kids. I’m saying this quarter went better than expected and I’m eager to do some spring hiking here in Central Oregon.

Make notes in field guides: I’m keeping up the habit of making notes in my field guides as we identify new species of birds, animals, and plants.

crossbills february 2021
Our unexpected visitors! We had a group of crossbills come through on a Feederwatch count day.

Project Feederwatch and Great Backyard Bird Count: The Feederwatch project is coming to a close here at the end of April. We’ve only missed a couple of weeks of counting and it has helped us be aware of the comings and goings of the birds at our feeders. The GBBC was another enjoyable experience as we took part in the worldwide bird count. I’ll be posting about the particulars soon!

Go camping: We didn’t make it out camping in the first quarter. But, we have several trips planned for the spring season and one for the summer.

succulents april 2021

Learn about succulents: I spent some time reading books about succulents over the quarter. Our library has quite a few to choose from since succulents are a big part of the landscaping here in Central Oregon. I went out yesterday and looked at the ones we have in our yard and they are all looking mighty healthy. I noticed new growth and spreading for many of them. I will continue to work on my knowledge as we get into our real growing season.

I did a pretty good job of keeping all my goals in mind this quarter. Now, I just need to keep it going.

Have you created nature study goals for your family?

Could you use some help in keeping nature study a regular part of your week?

You can join as an Ultimate Naturalist Library member and immediately have access to hundreds of nature study ideas and printables.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist June 2020

Click the graphic above to see the complete benefits of a membership. Join and make 2021 the best year of nature study ever for your family!

Use the discount code NATURE5 for $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership!

 

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Great Backyard Bird Count 2021 Coming Soon!

What? The Great Backyard Bird Count
When? February 12-15, 2021.
Who? Anyone around the world!
How? Count birds in your yard and at your feeders. Report the data to the Great Backyard Bird Count.

GBBC_Email_r24

Need some more information?
Great Backyard Bird Count

Video: Great Backyard Bird Count

Get prepared with printable checklists for your area…by zip code or town name.

The list below includes the top ten birds counted in the Great Backyard Bird Count in 2020. I would suggest taking a look at the list and use the links to decide if you have any of these particular birds in your local area.

Several of the birds are found on the east coast so make sure to scroll down to “similar species” if you live in other areas to determine if there is a similar bird for you to watch out for in your backyard count.

Top Ten Birds Reported in the Great Backyard Bird Count 2020

1. Northern Cardinal

2. Dark Eyed Junco

3.  Mourning Dove

4.  Downy Woodpecker

5.  Blue Jay

6.  House Sparrow

7. House Finch

8. American Crow

9. Black Capped Chickadee

10. Red-bellied Woodpecker

If you want to start keeping a list of birds you observe, you may wish to visit this entry on:

10 Ideas for a Bird Life List.

Cornell Bird Coloring Book Dove
Download the Cornell Feeder Bird coloring book. The image above is an example that I completed for the mourning dove.

Download and save the Cornell Feeder Bird coloring book. This book has many of the most common birds you’ll see in your backyard and it makes a perfect complement to your family’s bird nature study.

Learning About Birds 3D cover

Learning About Birds ebook Bird List @handbookofnaturestudyDon‘t forget about the Learning About Birds ebook in the Member’s Library.

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Outdoor Mom – February 2020

Outdoor Mom – February 2020

Hibernation, Bird Counts, and Garden Plans

During our outdoor time this month we went
There have been no great trips out and about this month….spending most of my days inside, looking out at the wintery landscape. Don’t get me wrong. We have sunshine but it is COLD!

This winter I’ve been more of a hibernator than in years past.woodstove february 2020

Maybe it’s my age or the weight of the responsibility I’m under, taking care of elderly parents, but I enjoy the warmth and rejuvenating powers of sitting by a warm woodstove more than bundling up and going out in the freezing temperatures.

LIttle Deschutes River Feb 2020

I don’t think I’ll always be this way; it’s just a season of something different for us here in Central Oregon.

The most inspiring thing we experienced was…

I have to admit that the most inspiring and interesting thing we’ve done is to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. The juncos took the prize for the most birds of any species. But the chickadees, nuthatches, and house finches have been the most consistent visitors to our feeders this season. The most surprising visitors we had were three red-winged blackbirds! They made an appearance one morning up on the tall bird feeder…I can’t believe how early they are this year, almost a full month before I expected them to arrive. We also had a few varied thrushes to count and flickers, downy woodpeckers, and hairy woodpeckers. Under the feeder we had mourning doves and collared doves that duked it out with the gray squirrels for the seeds on the ground.

Great Backyard Bird Count 2020

  • Northern flicker-1
  • Downy woodpecker-1
  • Hairy woodpecker-2
  • Mourning dove-6
  • Collared dove-2
  • Red-breasted nuthatch-1
  • Pygmy nuthatch-4
  • House finches-6
  • Dark-eyed juncos-30
  • American robin-2
  • Varied thrush-2
  • Mountain chickadee-5
  • California scrub jay-4
  • Red-winged blackbirds-3

 

In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting…

It’s time for planning new garden beds to be filled with plants that will attract birds, bees, and butterflies. After our success in growing quite a few colorful and habitat friendly flowers, we’re going to expand our wildflower meadow and increase the number of sunflowers and bird/bee attractive plants.

Renees GArden sunflowers

I love Renee’s Garden seeds and each year I order some old favorites and a few new things to test out in our yard. I’ve long had a relationship with this awesome seed company and this year they are sending me the following seeds to try as part of their media partnership.

Beekeeper’s Mix – This is a mix we had last year under our sunflowers and they were so pretty!

Seeds for a Hummingbird Garden – This will be a new mix of flowers that will go in one of my garden boxes. I’m anxious to see if they flourish here in Central Oregon.

Seeds for a Butterfly Garden – Another new mix for us to experiment with this summer!

Butterfly Monarda – I’m going to add this packet to my wildflower garden to add a little height and color.

Instagram OutdoorHourChallenge small

Want to join in the Outdoor Mom post?

Answer all or just one of the prompts in a blog entry on your own blog or right here on my blog in a comment. If you answer on your blog, make sure to leave me a link in a comment so that I can pop over and read your responses.

  • During our outdoor time this month we went…
  • The most inspiring thing we experienced was…
  • Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)…
  • In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting…
  • I added nature journal pages about…
  • I am reading…
  • I am dreaming about…
  • One last image…
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Our Spring Bird – Not Quite Yet

Posting the spring bird challenge a few weeks ago, I knew in my heart that I would have to wait a month or even two months before I could accomplish a true spring bird nature study. But, it has put it on my on plan for future nature study experiences.

We have not spotted one spring bird. In fact, our Great Backyard Bird Count was the smallest count we have ever recorded in the many years we have been tallying birds for the project.

Great Backyard Bird Count List for 2019

La Pine, Oregon

  • Hairy woodpecker -2
  • Northern flicker -2
  • Mountain chickadee – 5
  • Pygmy nuthatch -7
  • House finch -1

That’s it. Hardly a spectacular count here at my location in Central Oregon. We had snow on the ground and a high temperature of 35 degrees for the Bird Count weekend. Even for us this was a fraction of the usual birds we see at our feeders on any given weekend.

As far as new birds to learn about, none so far this season. I will keep watching and hopefully just like last year I will be surprised by a new species to add to my list. (Last year it was the Wilson’s snipe!)

If you would like to read the original challenge for a spring bird nature study, here is the link: Outdoor Hour Challenge – Spring Bird.

 

 

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Chickadees

 

Outdoor Hour Challenge Chickadee Bird Study @handbookofnaturestudyOutdoor Hour Challenge- Chickadees

From the Archives and the More Nature Study Winter Ebook

This is a week that those that have a backyard feeder are going to enjoy. Chickadees are frequent visitors to many feeders here in the United States. These cheerful little birds are fun to watch and will be a wonderful wintertime bird study for even beginner families. Use the information in the link to the archives post to get started learning about chickadees. Follow up with some discussion and perhaps a nature journal entry.

For those of you who are like me and don’t have chickadees in the feeder, you might want to substitute the titmouse instead. This page on the Audubon website will prove very helpful in a visual way to knowing what chickadees and a titmouse looks like: Chickadees and Titmice. You may also want to view this page on AllAboutBirds: Chickadees and Titmice. Great Backyard Bird Count 2017 Coming Soon @handbookofnaturestudyWe are also getting closer to the favorite time of year for many birders- Great Backyard Bird Count time! Mark on your calendar February 17-20, 2017!

Great Backyard Bird Count

 

Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter 2016 More Nature Study

If you are interested in purchasing an Ultimate Naturalist Membership at this time, you will gain access to the custom notebooking pages that go along with each of the challenges in the ebook.

Ultimate Naturalist Library June 2016 @handbookofnaturestudy

Note: You do not need to purchase the ebook to participate but they are handy to have for planning and for the regular and advanced notebook pages included in each one. Click the graphic at above to go over to check out the Ultimate Naturalist Library membership.

Spring Plans!

We will be working through a new series of wildflower challenges starting in April using a new ebook that will publish sometime in March. The new wildflower ebook will also be added to the Ultimate Naturalist Library so if you purchase a membership now, you will have the new ebook as soon as it is available. I will posting details about the new ebook soon.

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Great Backyard Bird Count 2016 Results

 Flowering Quince

Here are my Great Backyard Bird Count results for 2016.

Anna’s Hummingbird – 2

Spotted Towhee – 2

California Towhee – 1

Scrub Jay – 1

House Finch – 1

Titmouse – 1

Mourning Dove – 1

White-crowned Sparrow – 2

Dark eyed Juncos – 2

American Robins – 14

Cedar Waxwings – 30

Northern flicker – 1

 

12 different birds with a total count of 58 birds! This year I only managed to count birds one of the mornings during the count period. This made a big difference in the results. Although, we had more birds this year than in the last 2 years, it is only because we had such a high count for the cedar waxwings. The morning I counted they just happened to be in my tree eating and roosting.

Hope you had a chance to count birds this year! Leave me a comment if you created an entry for your results and I will pop over and take a look.

 Peacock Dover Publications Tiffany Glass coloring book

Have you seen the new product over at NotebookingPages.com? If you own a Lifetime Membership over on Debra’s website, you can log into your account on NotebookingPages.com and download your set right now. If you aren’t already a member over there, you can purchase the set separately or I would highly recommend a Lifetime Membership so you can access all of the 1000’s of notebooking pages she has to offer. ($4.95 for the set or get started with your membership with $10!)

Marine Invertebrates Notebooking Pages

Please note I am an affiliate for NotebookingPages.com and have used the notebooking pages with my family for years!

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Great Backyard Bird Count Reminder

Great BAckyard Bird Count 2016

What? The Great Backyard Bird Count
When? February 12-15, 2016
Who? Anyone around the world…for the first time ever!
How? Count birds in your yard and at your feeders. Report the data to the Great Backyard Bird Count

Need so more information?
Great Backyard Bird Count

Video: Great Backyard Bird Count

Get prepared with printable checklists for you area…by zip code or town name.

Our family is going to be counting and I will share our results here on the blog soon!

Here is our bird list results from 2015: Great Backyard Bird Count Results 2015


Grosbeak Feb 2016 (13)