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The Ultimate List of Birds Homeschool Nature Study Resources Using the Outdoor Hour Challenge

You can enjoy a simple birds homeschool nature study with these resources we have gathered for you to use in your own backyard. It is such a delight to study and learn about these beautiful creatures!

Birds Homeschool Nature Study

This is not required, but it is always good to have some birds homeschool nature study references on hand for your part of the world. Here are some bird resources I have shared about:

Review of Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists

Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists – What would the world be without birds? Birds are a favorite subject for young children as they spy birds in their yards and at near-by parks. Nurturing a love of birds is easy when you have one or two of Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists on hand. These compact field guides are beautifully illustrated and feature many of the birds you can find right outside your own window. They are enjoyable to page through and you will find yourself sharing these books over and over with your family.

It is such a delight to study and learn about these beautiful creatures! You can enjoy a simple birds homeschool nature study with these resources.

Favorite Bird Field Guides and Resources by Tricia – everything from each child choosing a favorite bird to study to bird field guides with bird songs, a window observation feeder and a suet recipe.

John James Audubon quote and bird chalk pastel art lessons.

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!

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!

Bird Study Outdoor Hour Challenges in Homeschool Nature Study Membership

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.

Birds course Handbook of Nature Study Outdoor Hour Homeschool Curriculum
  • Autumn Bird
  • Winter Bird and Migration – Winter Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Winter Birds – Winter Wednesday Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Spring Bird Bird Song –  Spring Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • American Dipper – Bird Set #1 Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Baltimore Oriole – Summer Nature Study Continues
  • Belted Kingfisher – Autumn Nature Study Continues
  • Catbird – Autumn Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Chickadee – More Nature Study Winter Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Chicken – Autumn Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Clark’s Nutcracker – Bird Set #1
  • Common Raven – Forest Fun Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Crane- Bird Set #1
  • Egret – Bird Set #1
  • Flicker –Winter Nature Study Continues
  • Goose – Autumn Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Hawks – Autumn Nature Study Continues Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Horned Lark – Bird Set #1
  • House Sparrow – More Nature Study Autumn
It is such a delight to study and learn about these beautiful creatures! You can enjoy a simple birds homeschool nature study with these resources.
  • Hummingbirds and Nests – More Nature Study Summer
  • Magpie – Bird Set #1
  • Owl and Owl Pellets – Summer Outdoor Hour curriculum
  • Owl Study and Printable Notebook Page
  • Pelican – Bird Set #1
  • Quail – Forest Fun
  • Robin – More Nature Study Spring
  • Sandhill Crane – Bird Set #1
  • Sapsucker – Autumn
  • Snipe – Bird Set #1
  • Starlings
  • Swallows – Autumn
  • Swan – Bird Set #1
  • Turkey – Autumn
  • Western Tanager – Forest Fun
  • Woodpeckers

This collection of Outdoor Hour Challenges features an incredibly interesting group of birds: pelican, sandhill crane, Clark’s nutcracker, egret, American dipper, horned lark, magpie, swan, and snipe.

Learning all about birds Handbook of Nature Study Outdoor Hour Homeschool Curriculum

This Homeschool Nature Study Course is a collection of the Birds By Color series with custom notebooking pages, clear images, and lots of links and resources for you to use in your bird nature study. You can access this book by purchasing an Ultimate or Journey level membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study website.

 Studying Birds By Color

  • Red Birds – Robins, Cardinals, House Finches
  • Blue Birds – Jays and Bluebirds
  • Yellow Birds – Goldfinches and Meadowlarks
  • Hummingbirds – Flight
  • Brown Birds – House Sparrows, House Wrens, and mourning Doves
  • Black Birds – Crow, Red-Winged Blackbird, Starling, and Cowbird
  • Black and White Birds – Woodpecker, Chickadee, Nuthatch, Towhee
  • Gray Birds – Pigeon and Mockingbird
It is such a delight to study and learn about these beautiful creatures! You can enjoy a simple birds homeschool nature study with these resources.

Follow our Bird Nature Study Pinterest Board!

Even More Misc. Bird Study Ideas

We encourage you to take a closer look at these bird study ideas:

  • Feet
  • Flight
  • Eyes and Ears
  • Beaks
  • Feathers
  • Wing and Tail Shape
  • Starting a Bird Life List
  • 10 Ideas for Keeping a Bird Life List
  • Birding By Ear
  • Bird Study and Nature Table Printable
  • Bird Field Guide Cards Printable

Additional Homeschool Nature Study You May Find Helpful

Join the Homeschool Nature Study Membership for Year Round Support!

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!

-First published by Barb January 2011 and updated by Tricia January 2022

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Brown Birds 2018

Brown+Birds+Sparrow+Wren+Dove+@HBNatureStudy.jpg

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Brown Birds – House Sparrows, House Wrens, and Mourning Doves

From the Archives and from the Learning About Birds ebook

“Anyone who attempts to recognize birds by sight alone misses much of the pleasure that comes to those who have taken the time and pains to learn bird songs and use them as a means of bird recognition. It is true that not all people have a talent for music; but everyone interested in birds can learn to identify the songs and most of the call notes of common birds.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 42

Use the ideas and resources in the challenge linked above to learn more about the birds in this week’s challenge. In addition, make sure to listen to the birds singing in your neighborhood. The mourning dove is a particularly easy bird to identify by its cooing sound. Listen here: mourning dove song. See if your children can imitate this common backyard bird.

Learning About Birds ebook Bird List @handbookofnaturestudy

This brown bird challenge is from the Learning About Birds ebook here on the Handbook of Nature Study. It’s found in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships for you to download and use with your family. If you would like to gain access to this ebook, you can purchase a membership now and have instant access.

Ultimate Naturalist Library September 2017 @handbookofnaturestudy
Use the discount code BIRDLOVER5 for $5 off an Ultimate Naturalist Membership.

 

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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Where Are the Sparrows?

Outdoor Hour Challenge Sparrow Bird Study @handbookofnaturestudyOutdoor Hour Challenge

Sparrow Bird Study – from the archives and from the More Nature Study Autumn ebook

This time of year, the first birds I hear each morning are the sparrows. The have such a pretty light song that can’t help but cheer you up. This week use your local field guide to learn more about sparrows that live in your neighborhood. My suggestion is to pick one and read all about it and then go look for it. Sparrows are often in and under our birdfeeders (sunflower seeds and millet) but you may want to learn what your sparrow sounds like since they often are hidden in the shrubs or brush piles.

House Sparrow Sounds

White-crowned Sparrow Sounds – This is the sparrow that is most often spotted in my yard here in Northern California. You can listen to its pretty song at this link.

Song Sparrow Sounds – We don’t hear these in our yard but one of our favorite Oregon campgrounds always has these song sparrows in the blackberries and other bushes.

10 Ideas for a Bird Life List @HBNatureStudy

Please feel free to choose a different bird for this week’s study if you don’t have a sparrow to observe in person. You may wish to read about creating a Bird Life List and download a free printable list to start with your family: 10 Ideas for a Bird Life List.

Outdoor Hour Challenge Plans for Sept 16 to March 17 @handbookofnaturestudyNote: You do not need to purchase the ebooks 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 the bottom of this post to go over to check out the Ultimate Naturalist Library membership. If you would like to see a sample of More Nature Study Autumn ebook, you can download a sample here: More Nature Study Autumn Sample.

Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy

 

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Crows, Ravens, and the Great Backyard Bird Count

Raven @handbookofnaturestudy

We have had some changes in the birds that frequent our feeders and our neighborhood. Here are a few of my observations and thoughts.

1. We are seeing more ravens than crows these days. It isn’t unusual to see three ravens flying over the yard, landing in our tall evergreens right at the top. They sit there and make their CRONK, CRONK sound and then a gurgling. They are so much larger than the crows we have had in the past. I’m not sure what the reason is for the change but it will be interesting to see the numbers during the Great Backyard Bird Count. If you would like to do a really easy study and comparison of the raven and the crow, I highly recommend this page on All About Birds: Crows vs. Ravens.

2. We haven’t had any house sparrows in our feeders since last spring. Where did they go? We still have white-crowned sparrows and fox sparrows but the distinctive sweet song of the house sparrow is absent. Should I be sad at their disappearance? Is it only a temporary thing, perhaps having some connection to the drought we are experiencing? Only time will tell.

Great Backyard Bird Count 2015

GBBC

I invite you to mark February 13-16, 2015 on your calendar and plan on participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count at least one of the days. We have participated in this citizen science project for many years, keeping a record of the birds that come to our yard during the count period. This activity started us on a long term quest to learn all of the birds that come to visit us, learning their names and habits.

 

 

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OHC More Nature Study #7 House Sparrow

Outdoor Hour Challenge House Sparrow @handbookofnaturestudy

More Nature Study #7
House Sparrow (English Sparrow in the Handbook of Nature Study)


Inside Preparation Work:
1. Read pages 83-85 in the Handbook of Nature Study (Lesson 20 English Sparrow). Highlight some points you can share about the house sparrow with your children.
2. If you have a bird field guide, use the index to look up the House sparrow and any other sparrows you may have in your area.
3. Let your children see an image of the House sparrow and have them describe what they see. (You may use the information in the Additional Links section below.)
4. Younger Children: Read the Burgess Bird Book chapter on the English(House) Sparrow online. Listen to an MP3 recording of the chapter.

birdhouse
Outdoor Hour Time:
1. Seize the opportunity to observe a House sparrow during your week. This may need to be done from a window at first but outdoors is always better if you can keep still and quiet as you observe. If you have a pair of binoculars, take them along with you so you can view the sparrow’s features. Try to observe their color, size, beak, tail shape, and behavior. Look for House sparrows in your yard in bushes or hedges, in parks, or even around buildings in urban areas.
2. If you don’t have a House sparrow to observe, choose another bird and have your child describe its features. (It is always good to compare size, shape, beak, and tail.)

cherry tree

Follow-Up Activity:
1. After your Outdoor Hour time, take a few minutes to follow-up your bird observation time. Pull out your field guide and learn a little bit more about any birds you were able to view.
2. Allow the opportunity for a nature journal entry, a notebook page, or time to color the accompanying coloring page.
3. Advanced follow-up: Compare the House sparrow with another sparrow in your neighborhood. You can use the accompanying notebook page for your notes (ebook users only).
4. Advanced follow-up: Watch for the House sparrow in all four seasons. Keep a record of what months you see them in your yard or neighborhood.

Additional Links:
All About Birds: House Sparrow
My HubPage on birdfeeders: Birdfeeders in the Winter
Advanced students—for research: House Sparrow

Please note these are affiliate links to products I love and highly recommend.

More Nature Study Autumn

This challenge is part of the More Nature Study – Autumn series. All of the challenges are gathered into one ebook with notebooking pages (regular and for advanced students) and additional resources. You can gain access to this ebook by purchasing an Ultimate Naturalist membership here on the Handbook of Nature Study. See the Join Us page by clicking the link at the top of the website for more information about what comes with your Ultimate membership.

Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy

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More Nature Study With The Outdoor Hour Challenge – Autumn 2011 Ebook

More Nature Study Autumn Cover image


Nature Study Using the Handbook of Nature Study- Autumn 2011 Series

Completely updated in 2016!

The ten challenges included in this new ebook are written in the format of the Outdoor Hour Challenges that can be found on the blog. Each weekly challenge can be completed as you have the opportunity and you can complete as much or as little of each challenge as you have time and interest.

Each challenge has three parts: inside preparation work, outdoor time, and then a follow-up activity. Each challenge is written so you can adapt it to your own backyard or local area. Use the challenge ideas to get started with simple weekly nature study using the Handbook of Nature Study.

This ebook is written for families with children of all ages. In addition to the regular challenge, new to this ebook is the addition of suggested nature study activities and follow-up for more advanced students. I included “advanced follow-up” ideas and created “upper level” notebook pages to give each challenge a deeper study if you have children who are ready for additional learning opportunities.

Also, a new feature for Charlotte Mason style homeschoolers is the addition of suggested Charlotte Mason style exam questions to be used at the end of the term. The questions are meant to help your child recall and then share in some way his nature study experience. Since this is the first time I have included exam questions, I would love to hear your feedback after using them with your children. I am planning on using them with my high school age son.

More Nature Study Autumn Cover image
Included in the More Nature Study With The Outdoor Hour Challenge – Autumn 2011/2016 Ebook:
  • Ten challenges centered on the Handbook of Nature Study
  • Eleven notebook pages and eight coloring pages
  • Thirteen Upper Level notebook pages
  • Ten Charlotte Mason style exam questions
  • Complete instructions for each challenge included additional links and resources
  • Nature journal suggestions
  • Complete list of supplies needed
  • Coordinates with the monthly Outdoor Hour Challenge Newsletter ideas
  • 52 pages
  • Sample here: More Nature Study Autumn

Here are the topics covered in this autumn ebook along with alternate ideas for you to include if they are more appropriate to your area. 

  • Milkweed – any other autumn wildflower or weed
  • Leaf Miners – examine leaves with a hand lens
  • Pears – year long tree study
  • Cobwebs of all kinds
  • Fall Color – leaf gathering
  • Chipmunk – squirrel
  • House sparrow – any other bird
  • Leaf Close Up
  • Thistles – any other fall composite flower
  • Maple seeds – any tree that has seeds of any type


As always, please email me with any questions or comments. harmonyfinearts@yahoo.com

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Outdoor Hour Challenge-Birds: House Sparrow, House Wren, and Mourning Dove

 
Outdoor Hour Challenge
Brown Birds #5
House Sparrow, House Wren, and Mourning Dove

Inside Preparation Work:
1. Read in the Handbook of Nature Study pages 83-91. This includes three sections on sparrows: English sparrow, Chirping sparrow, and Song sparrow.

2. Read in Backyard Birds pages 22-27 on brown birds: House sparrow, House wren, and Mourning dove. This week we are going to focus on bird songs so make special note of how the book describes each song. If you haven’t noticed already, in the back of this book, on the last page, is a Life List for you to record when and where you spotted and identified each bird listed in the book. This is a good time to begin a life list of birds seen.

3. Peterson Field Guide: Look up and read about the house sparrow, house wren, and mourning dove. Make note of each bird’s field marks.

4. Read in the Handbook of Nature Study pages 42-43 about the songs of birds.

“Anyone who attempts to recognize birds by sight alone misses much of the pleasure that comes to those who have taken the time and pains to learn bird songs and use them as a means of bird recognition. It is true that not all people have a talent for music; but everyone interested in birds can learn to identify the songs and most of the call notes of common birds.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 42

Outdoor Hour Time:
With each challenge you have been asked to spend ten to fifteen minutes outdoors together as a family exploring your own backyard or neighborhood. You have also had opportunities to hang different birdfeeders to attract and nourish birds in your backyard. I encourage you to make sure to keep your feeders clean and filled, remembering that the more you involve the children in these tasks, the more they will become invested in the birds that come to visit you.

This week make sure to spend some of your outdoor time silently listening for birds. You can very easily learn the common bird songs in your area by using the internet links provided in each challenge. Also, remember that the Handbook of Nature Study explains, “Birds do most of their singing in the early morning and during the spring and early summer months.”

Remember all the other suggestions for bird observation that you have worked on so far in the Outdoor Hour Challenges: wing and tail shape, beak size and shape, and how the bird flies.

If you have a special habitat near your home, make plans to visit and look for birds. Do you have a pond, some woods, the seashore, or a marsh near-by that you can travel to easily? Take advantage of what is unique in your local area.

Follow Up Activity for the House sparrow, the House wren, and the Mourning dove:
After your outdoor time, make sure to discuss any birds that you observed and try to remember as many of their features as you can. Pull out your field guide and refresh your memory about this challenge’s particular birds. You can add nature journal pages for any of the birds that you studied during this challenge. You will find a coloring pages for the house sparrow, the mourning dove, and the song sparrow in Cornell’s bird coloring book: Feeder Birds Coloring Book.

If you are using NotebookPages.com’s bird study set (noted below), you can complete the pages on bird songs. I suggest using these pages to record the bird songs you hear during each Outdoor Hour Challenge.

Follow Up Activity for Other Birds Observed:
By this time in the bird challenges, you should be gaining some skills at looking at field marks for birds you see during your outdoor time. 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 NotebookingPages.com 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 NotebookingPages.com Shop. (This does not include membership purchases.)

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