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Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge: Magpie Bird Nature Study

Brand New! Outdoor Hour Challenge

Magpie Bird Nature Study

Magpie nature study week! Once you identify a magpie, you’ll never have trouble spotting it again. It has such a beautiful color pattern, and the tail is very distinct. This makes the magpie a perfect bird to study even with very young children.

The Outdoor Hour Challenge this week is officially the black-billed magpie but some of you might need to also look up information on the yellow-billed magpie.

Outdoor Hour Challenge magpie

Take some time to prepare for your magpie study by clicking the links below:

  • Make sure to look at the range maps in a field guide or on All About Birds to determine if you might spot a magpie in your area.
  • Here are some videos for you to watch in preparation: Magpie Song and Magpie Colors.

Please note that I will not be posting the complete challenge here on the blog, but you will find the detailed challenge in the Bird Nature Study Set #1 ebook that’s available both in the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level memberships. Sign into your account and download the ebook for the details, more links, and notebook pages.

Bird Set ebook cover image

Birds included in this ebook include the pelican, sandhill crane, Clark’s nutcracker, egret, American dipper, horned lark, magpie, swan, and snipe.

Download a sample of the book here: Bird Nature Study Set #1 Sample

To purchase an Ultimate Naturalist Library membership, click on over to the Join Us page at any time.

Learning About Birds 3D cover

You may wish to also download and use the Learning About Birds ebook available in the Ultimate Naturalist Library.

Learning About Birds ebook Bird List @handbookofnaturestudy

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New Ebook! Bird Set #1

Bird Set ebook cover image

New Ebook is Now Available to Members!

This is going to be an exciting addition to the Ultimate Naturalist Library membership! This new ebook has nine new Outdoor Hour Challenges featuring some of North America’s most interesting birds!

These Challenges are not based on information in the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock. You’ll be using internet links and field guides to glean information about each topic. Plus, there are alternate study ideas for most of the challenges presented in this series of bird nature study lessons.

  • This 30 page digital ebook has 9 challenges and supplemental activities.
  • There are multiple custom notebooking pages for each of the topics. You can choose from simple notebook pages or more advanced notebooking pages.
  • There are 9 coloring pages.
  • Sample: Print an ebook sample here: Ooutdoor Hour Challenge Bird Set 1 Sample


  • Here are the specific topics included in this ebook:
  • American White Pelican
  • Trumpeter Swan
  • Wilson’s Snipe
  • Great Egret
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Clark’s Nutcracker
  • American Dipper
  • Horned Lark
  • Black-billed Magpie

Bird Set ebook cover imageHow do you get the new Creepy Things ebook?

Members of the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey levels have access to the new ebook in their library. You need to click the “Members Area” button at the top of the website, sign into your account, and the ebook is there to download and save for your family to use when desired.

Join Us Ultimate Naturalist November 2019

If you don’t have a membership yet, I’m offering a $5 off discount code that will be good towards your Ultimate Naturalist membership.

Discount Code: OHC10



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Truly Beautiful Birds: Woodpeckers

We decided that woodpeckers are very beautiful birds. The two kinds we see most frequently are Acorn woodpeckers and White-Headed woodpeckers and although they are mostly black and white, they are truly lovely to look at.

“The clown-faced Acorn Woodpecker is a common bird of western oak forests. It lives in extended family groups, and all members of the group spend hours and hours storing thousands of acorns in carefully tended holes in trees and telephone poles.”

All About Birds, Acorn Woodpecker listing

Woodpecker holes in the birch tree
This tree is at my dad’s house and it has about a zillion holes in it from woodpeckers. He is plagued with woodpeckers pecking on the side of his house.

Acorn woodpecker-age 8
I found this old nature journal entry made for our backyard woodpecker….makes me smile.

Here is our previous entry for black and white birds which included some woodpeckers: Outdoor Hour Challenge: Black and White Birds

Here is another black and white bird that we see and it always amazes me…the magpie.

What a great tail this bird has and he makes a funny noise when he walks along.

We have been keeping track of birds in our yard this week as part of this challenge.

Here is our list:

Western bluebirds

Western scrub jays
House sparrows
Anna’s hummingbirds
Juncos (under the feeder)-just returned
White-crowned sparrows (under the feeder) -just returned

We heard a crow and a mockingbird as well.

We don’t have as much variety in our feeders or yard at this time of the year. The bird variety picks up as the winter marches on and by the time of the Great Backyard Bird Count, we are in full swing.

No woodpecker sightings this week but we enjoyed watching the birds we did have in our yard.